Pennsylvania-based tree health care professionals say these trees will help local wildlife.
Maintaining a Wildlife-Friendly Yard
You don’t have to be an avid camper or outdoors person to appreciate local wildlife. Likewise, you don’t have to be an avid gardener to provide a haven for local animals. One of the best ways to make a garden easy to manage is to use plants that are native to the area. This article will discuss the types of trees and shrubs to include in your yard to create a welcoming space for wildlife visitors.
Trees and Shrubs That Attract Pollinators
Bees, butterflies, and moths are primarily nourished by the sweet nectar in flowering plants. In turn, these insects carry pollen from flower to flower and help the plants fertilize and produce fruit. There are many trees that attract butterflies and bees in the spring and later attract birds and other animals to their fruit or seeds. The following native trees are particularly appealing for pollinators:
- Common Elderberry
- Red Maple
Trees and Shrubs that Birds Love
Any of the trees and shrubs listed above tend to also provide food and nesting for birds, particularly the common elderberry, the hackberry, and the spicebush. The red maple also provides excellent nesting space for several species of birds including the pileated woodpecker. Some of the trees that are particularly attractive to birds are also host plants for butterfly and moth larvae. The trees mentioned below attract birds due to the seeds or fruits of the tree.
- Red-berried Elder
- Silky Dogwood
- Shagbark Hickory
Trees and Shrubs that Nourish Mammals
The trees listed for mammals can actually serve any of the groups that have been mentioned here. Just as most of the trees that serve butterflies and bees can also be valuable for birds, the trees that attract mammals will naturally attract birds and insects as well. This section is going to be a bit more specific about which animals prefer the trees in question.
- Allegheny Serviceberry: This small tree has lovely white blooms, which provide great nectar for pollinators, in the spring and its fruits feed people as well as smaller mammals like squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks. The tree plays nursery to a couple of different butterfly species such as the Viceroy butterfly.
- Flowering Dogwood: This is another understory tree that grows to less than 25 feet in height. Its palm-sized, four-petaled white flowers attract bees and their small red fruits feed squirrels, chipmunks, as well as birds such as the cedar waxwing and the cardinal among many others. Deer also like to graze the fruit and buds of this tree.
- Lowbush blueberry: If you are planting blueberries, you may not be planning to share, but the animals nearby may have other plans. Not only do the spring blooms of this shrub attract butterflies and such, but the fruit attracts animals of all sizes from small ground squirrels and rabbits to deer and bears. The density of the bush can provide great nesting areas as well.
- Paw Paw: The lovely deep maroon blooms of the pawpaw make it attractive to the eye as well as to pollinators. It hosts the larvae of zebra swallowtail butterflies and Pawpaw sphinx moths. The elongated fruit has a taste similar to bananas and is coveted by birds and smaller mammals.
- Red Oak: Though the red oak does not have flowers to attract insects, its acorns provide food for a wide swath of the animal population, including mice, squirrels, deer, wild turkeys, and bluejays among others. Its branches can house many a nest and it is highly ornamental in the fall with its brilliant leaf color.
About Greater Pitt Tree Service
With 27 years of tree service under our belts and multiple awards for great service, you can rest assured that Greater Pitt Tree Service will complete your tree trimming, tree pruning, or tree removal with the utmost attention to detail. We know that you care about your trees and so do we. Call us for a free quote or anytime 24/7 for emergency services.