This Will Change Your Attitude About Dead Trees in Your Yard, Forever
Are There Benefits to Dead Trees/Snags?
Dead trees or tree trunks, create a snag and that is a good thing.
A snag is a
dead or dying tree.
This may not sound very attractive to the average
home owner, but it is a very beneficial thing to have in your yard for wildlife.
Traditionally it has been the practice of home owners to cut down trees in their yard after they die.
It may still be necessary if the tree is
too close to the house and there is risk of it damaging the home or causing harm to people
Dead Trees or Snags Provide Good Shelter for Wild Birds
But, cutting off the top and leaving a tall stump, may be sufficient to save the house from damage and to supply a
useful snag for wild birds and other wildlife.
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A home to raise young, food sources, a place to hide from predators, food storage and shelter from inclement weather are some of the benefits of dead trees.
Great Blue Herons Use Groups of Snags to Nest in Colonies
Who Else Benefits from Dead Trees?
We all know the many and wonderful benefits of trees that are living.
But we don't always think about the advantages of standing dead trees as necessary for sustaining wildlife.
Many wild birds will use snags for multiple purposes.
Wild birds are not the only creatures who use snags either.
There are many animals and insects that get an abundance of use from snags.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, 1200 species of wildlife benefit from dead or downed trees which are in various stages of decay.
Snags Provide Food, a Home to Raise Young, Shelter from Weather & Predators
What are the Benefits of Dead Trees or Snags?
Cavities and slits provide roosting spots to spend the night for Flying Squirrels,
Kestrels, Bats, Owls, Woodpeckers, Brown Creepers, Nuthatches,
Chicadees, Swallows, some Finches and other wild critters.
Most cavity nesting birds will seek out a hole or make their own in a tree to raise their young like Owls, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Chickadees, some Sparrows, Wrens, Flycatchers and more.
Birds Use Trees Inside & Out For Making Their Home
varieties of bird species use the branches and tops of snags for
perching, which allows them good viewing to spot rivals, predators and food.
Snags Are Perfect Perches For Wild Birds
trees decay because of the action of fungi, mosses, microscopic
organisms and insects, which in turn supply nesting material and a good
food source for wild birds and other wild creatures.
Storage bins for winter food – four legged-animals and birds use snags to store food.
A Snag Full of Winter Nuts
Soil exposed where a tree is uprooted provides a dust bath in the dryer months.
Hardwood trees make better nesting sites and softwood makes a
better food source. Providing both will balance the need for housing and
Dead Trees Generate Homes for Wildlife
How to Create a Snag?
can create snags if there are no natural ones available in your area or
Only if the tree is showing signs of dying, I would not recommend doing this to a healthy tree.
Cut the top off a tree, leaving at minimum fourteen feet standing.
Create a jagged top as this will allow for rot to develop faster than a smooth top.
Cut off long branches, especially near the base of the trunk to provide a foraging area.
Attracting wildlife with dead trees at every stage of the decaying
process provides a variety of life giving benefits to forest wildlife.
Snags also ensure that the next generation of young trees will have the
nutrients necessary for life.
Snags Grow Beautiful Natural Things
Why Not Make Your Dead Tree Attractive?
A snag already has a beneficial purpose, so give it another reason to be saved from the axe!
A tree stump creation can be established as a focal point in your garden. It could be a piece of garden art!
You can acheive this in many different ways by letting your ingenuity shine.
To get things started here is a list of ways other people have found to save their dead trees for birdlife.
Please let us know if you come up with a unique idea. We would love to share it here
The ideas below will get people thinking about how to use these precious natural resources for better use.
A List of Ways to Turn a Snag Into a Miracle:
Use a dead tree to hold a bird feeder.
Turn a stump into a planter.
A Snag Is The Perfect Host For Wildflowers Like Wood Anemone
Create a Fairy habitat.
Stumps can act as game tables.
Make it fun! The birds won't mind. ;)
Making Dead Trees Fun Instead Of Waste Is Environmentally Successful
Invent a conversation piece.
Snag a tree for the birds!
What is There to Know About Bird Housing?
Nesting Habits Vary a Lot Wild birds prepare for and raise their baby birds in many different ways. Some birds are solitary in their method and others are communal.