Trees are not only vital for humans, but they’re important for animals as well. By planting a tree in your yard, you’re not only making it more beautiful, but you’re also helping local wildlife out too. Even when a tree is only just a seedling or has just been planted, all different kinds of animals begin to benefit from it. Animals both big and small depend on trees.
From trees, animals receive many of the things they need to survive, and in return, animals help trees pollinate and reproduce. Animals and trees rely on each other for support. Here are some ways in which animals use trees.
One of the most important tree uses that foster the tree-animal relationship is through food. Some trees grow flowers or leaves that animals eat. Other trees produce seeds and fruits that animals (and sometimes humans) can eat too. Here are seven trees that will help to attract birds to your yard.
For instance, the Pacific dogwood produces orange and red berries that birds enjoy. The red alder yields seeds that birds, such as the pine siskin and common redpoll, like to eat so much that they come back each year. Squirrels, porcupines, and other mammals enjoy acorns, pine nuts, and a variety of other nuts.
Trees serve as homes for many animals. Birds may be the most common animal that comes to mind when you think of tree-living, but they’re not the only ones. In North America, you’re likely to find bats, raccoons, squirrels, mice, opossums, bears, and maybe even a lynx. Around the world, animals such as koalas, sloths, pandas, orangutans, lemurs, geckos, and many more are all adapted to tree-top living. Many of these animals spend the majority of their days sleeping, playing, eating, and raising their babies all in the trees.
In your own yard, you can choose to plant certain trees that will attract birds and mammals alike. For instance, you can give birds that are threatened or endangered the shelter that they need to survive, all while keeping your yard beautiful. Choosing coniferous, deciduous, and fruit tree options to plant in your yard will help to attract birds.
The two of the best options are Douglas firs and western hemlock trees. These trees attract marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls, which are two of Portland’s most imperiled birds. Marbled murrelets will use the branches of these trees to lay their eggs, rather than in birds’ nests. Northern spotted owls will use these two trees as well as grand firs, incense cedars, and ponderosa pines as their habitat. You might even provide a home for a bald eagle nest.
Like humans, animals sometimes need a break from the sun. Whereas some animals live in trees, other animals just need a tree for some shade, especially during the summer on those hot, sunny days. Popular trees that provide shade to humans can provide shade to animals too. The pagoda dogwood is a good example. Not only do they have fruit that attracts local wildlife, but the great shade that they provide is also enjoyed by birds and mammals.
If you’re considering a tree that will provide shade and protection for your yard and home, remember this option will also be helping local wildlife with more than shade. During times of bad weather, whether extreme rain, winds, or heat, animals can be safe in trees and not far from their source of food.
Trees are used by animals as a place where they can reproduce safely. For some animals, such as birds, they also serve as a place where they can lay their eggs and raise their young and keep them safe until they’re ready to leave the nest. Because of this, a tree is a very important aspect of the life cycle for some animals.
Animals however also aid in the health and reproduction of trees. Many animals fertilize trees and others work to disperse seeds and pollen from the plants into different areas, allowing more to grow.
In addition to all the above uses, there are some other ways animals rely on trees. Rather than living in trees, some animals just use them as resting points. Additionally, trees can help some animals to hide or help them to hunt and capture their prey.
Animals use trees for an array of purposes, and trees are vital for many animals’ survival. Some examples of wildlife that need trees to survive are birds, owls, frogs, salamanders, bats, raccoons, red foxes, snowshoe hares, the American beavers, and bears. Just to name a few! By planting trees, you’re helping to create a wonderful wildlife habitat in your community and helping to make sure our ecosystem thrives. Isn’t that great?
If you’re looking for the best types of trees to plant to attract certain animals to your yard, look no further than Mr. Tree. We know which trees work best to attract a variety of birds and furry friends, big or small, to your yard. Or maybe you want to provide a food source or shelter to an animal already living in your yard. We can help with that too. We’re happy to guide you in your decision and help out with all aspects of planting.
Contact us today. We’d love to hear more about your yard and what you’re looking to plant. We are also happy to chat more with you about how animals use trees and how your yard can be a haven for them. The relationship that a tree and animals have is an important one, and you can help foster that just by simply planting a tree or two.