The trees in our yard are the lynchpin that holds the delicate balance of wildlife presence together. So many animals rely on our healthy trees to provide them with shelter, food, and even transportation routes, and without trees, none of those animals would be nearby to enrich our environment and our lives. Learn more about some of the wild animals that take up residence in our trees.
The first animal many people think of when it comes to woodland wildlife are frisky little squirrels. These amusing little mammals use our trees for shelter, to help them create nests to raise their young, and to provide them with food like acorns. But squirrels aren’t the only mammals that benefit greatly from trees. Flying squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bats, and others take up residency in our trees. Even mammals as large as deer feed off of acorns, and deer also use tree trunks to help remove the velvety coverings on their antlers and announce their presence to other deer.
Just about every wild bird in our backyards benefits from our trees. They build nests and raise their young in them, they forage for food in them, and they seek shelter from the elements in their branches. Without trees nearby, most birds are unlikely to take up residence in an area, and those that do can be destructive to human habitats because they are making our homes into tree alternatives. Birds help to control insect populations, disperse seeds, and generally make our worlds a better place with their cheerful songs. Our healthy trees encourage them to find our yards a comfortable place.
Whether you care for insects or not, they are some of the animals that benefit from our trees-and our trees can benefit from them too! Flowering trees attract honeybees, butterflies, moths, and other flying insects that consume nectar. These insects help to pollinate the trees and are responsible for the vast majority of fruits that grow on trees, including apples, pears, cherries, and citrus fruits. In the wild, honeybees even build their hives in trees so that they can produce their honey and raise their young. A host of other insects also use trees as sources of shelter, transportation avenues, and sources of food. These insects help to keep the ecosystem around us alive and running smoothly, and our trees help them to do that job.
Protect Your Trees
One of the best things you can do for the wildlife in your area is to help maintain your trees and their health. Have a professional tree service come out annually and after major storms to ensure that your trees are at their best to provide for their small dependents. They can also help to keep trees manageable by providing pruning services, which can help to make treetops easier to use for nesting birds. If a tree becomes dangerous and needs removal, have your professional tree removal team come in and safely remove it. If you have the space, ask if they will leave larger logs of the tree for animals to shelter in. Most local tree services are more than happy to oblige such requests.
Contributed by guest blogger G. Robertson