The highbush cranberry tree (Viburnum trilobum), is a deciduous shrub or small tree that can reach up to 15 feet in height. It is native to North America and is commonly found in wetlands, forests, and along streams.
The leaves of the highbush cranberry are maple-like, with three lobes and a serrated edge. They turn a vibrant red color in the fall, adding to the tree’s ornamental value. The bark of the tree is grayish-brown and becomes slightly scaly with age.
The most distinctive feature of the highbush cranberry is its fruit, which resembles a cranberry but is larger and more elongated. The fruit is edible but is tart and bitter, often used in sauces, jellies, and jams. The berries are also an important food source for wildlife, including birds, bears, and small mammals.
In the spring, the highbush cranberry produces clusters of white, flat-topped flowers that are highly attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The tree prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade but can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.
The highbush cranberry is a beautiful and valuable plant that provides food and habitat for wildlife, as well as ornamental value for landscapers and gardeners.