From seed to dirt, trees are an important element of the landscape for wildlife.

A tree"s life cycle move from seed come seedling come tree come snag to decaying come dirt. Follow me the pathway, wildlife and also other plants are depending on the tree.

You are watching: Mammals use trees for both food and shelter.


Living Trees

Trees support the stays of many huge organisms. Tree are offered for food, shelter, and sites because that reproduction. Countless animals also use trees for resting, nesting and for places from which to hunt or record prey.

When the tree mature, pets are may be to enjoy delicious fruits and also foraging opportunities. Throughout times of extreme heat or precipitation, animals can seek shade and also shelter under the trees without being far from your food source.

Young tree can administer food for animals as well yet need to be regulated to certain a percentage of brand-new trees deserve to grow and also are not totally consume by wildlife.


Standing dead and also dying trees, referred to as “snags” are necessary for wildlife in both natural and landscaped settings, occurring as a result of disease, lightning, fire, animal damage, too much shade, drought, root competition, and old age.

Birds, tiny mammals, and also other wildlife use snags because that nests, nurseries, storage areas, foraging, roosting, and also perching. Live trees v snag-like features, such as hollow trunks, excavated cavities, and also dead branches can provide comparable wildlife value. Snags arising along streams and shorelines ultimately may loss into the water, including important woody debris to aquatic habitat. Dead branches are regularly used together perches; snags that absence limbs room often an ext decayed and, might have an ext and bigger cavities because that shelter and nesting. Snags improve local natural locations by attracting wildlife types that may not otherwise be uncovered there.

Decaying Trees

Decaying logs retain moisture and nutrients that assist in brand-new plant growth and support wildlife such as soil organisms (earthworms, beetles, and other insects). Young trees might sprout native a solitary downed limb known as a nurse log. The soft lumber tissue of a nurse log offers perfect substrate for many young trees during their early growth and development. Logs additionally store energy and also fix nitrogen. Furthermore, dead hardwood serves as a ground cover, lessening soil erosion and preventing pets such as deer indigenous over-browsing tree seedlings.

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Wildlife trees become softer together fungi, bacteria, and wood boring insects eat and breakdown the wood.

Wildlife require Trees

Many different species of wildlife depend on trees for food, water, cover, or places to raise their young. You can aid by planting trees and also creating wildlife habitat in your ar for wildlife—like few of these: