The Buffaloberry, sometimes called a Bullberry, is a real reclamation champ. It is wickedly adaptable to poor soil types, drought-tolerant, excellent at erosion control, and quite sturdy in high winds. Since it even grows in zones 3-9 it is commonly used in reclamation projects.
The Buffaloberry is a deciduous small tree/ tall shrub that naturally forms an 8-14ft tall thicket which many enjoy as a natural windbreak, hedge, or privacy fence. It does produce suckers which can mean your thicket will continue to expand or you may choose to cut out the new growth.
This hardy shrub tolerates soil that most plants considered infertile because it has a unique ability to fix and assimilate atmospheric nitrogen. This means that this plant not only does well in dry, moderately alkaline, and saline soils but it is actually a soil-fixer! (Grows in soil PH 5.5-8.) Although drought-tolerant once established it does prefer moist, well-draining soils or regular watering in dry areas. It also loves full sun but will tolerate part shade.
In addition to being a soil-fixing rockstar, the female species produces berries that are popular for jam-making humans and hungry backyard birds. These leafy shrubs may entice some deer but they tend to only graze and not damage this thorny shrub.
Fun fact: The Buffaloberry is dioecious (Greek for “two households”) which means each tree/shrub is uniquely male or female. So, if you want baby trees or berries for jam and birds, make sure to order several to improve your odds of receiving at least one male and one female tree.