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Wildlife Trees-A Second Life for Dead or Decaying Trees

Increasingly, we are recommending damaged or dying trees to be saved as wildlife trees. In nature, these trees are vital components of the ecosystem.


First, they are colonized by fungi, bacteria and insects which help to soften the wood and pose as opportune feeding grounds for other animals. Excavators like woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees drill cavities that can later house other birds and small mammals including martin and squirrels. Bigger birds like bald eagles like to build nests on broken tops. Even bats roost and rear their young under bark or inside hollow trees. More bats mean less mosquitoes!


Designating trees for this purpose can be an excellent option for parks, campgrounds and urban housing complexes. Wildlife are active in many urban spaces with the abundance of forested areas we have around Greater Vancouver.


Trees with a trunk diameter of 40 centimetres (16 inches) and at least five meters (45 feet) in height typically make the best wildlife homes.


Retaining trees on the site for wildlife adds integrity to each project. As urban foresters, we want to utilize our knowledge about healthy forests into our urban environments. Creating wildlife trees is a cool way to do that!




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