Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hardwood Tree Habitat for Wildlife

Several years ago I planted a habitat for wildlife.  This habitat consist of hardwood trees;  White Ash, American Beech, Paper Birch, Boxelder Maple, Black Cherry, Flowering Dogwood, Rock Elm, and I also grow nut, pear and apple trees.  

Under the trees I did a scatter planting of berry bushes; black, raspberry and elderberry, these berry bushes feed birds and the forest animals.  
wildlife forage: elderberry

My tree habitat and berry producing shrubs have grown and now my yard is attractive to wildlife. In the spring a fine crop of  morel mushrooms will grow under the hardwood trees.  The morels grow at the base of the trees, where the ground is moist and rich and the air is humid from the spring rains. 

My wildlife habitat Image by SGolis

Growing a wildlife habitat has its benefits, once it is established it is easy to maintain.  You can harvest the fruits or you can leave the entire crop as forage for the wildlife.  

I have the best of nature, edible fruits and nuts, wildlife and succulent morel mushrooms in the spring.  If you have a small yard you can section off a sunny area and plant 2 or 3 hardwood trees or apple or cherry fruit tree, then add some berry bushes and a water fountain or bird bath By doing this you will attract birds and you may have a crop of moral mushrooms in a few years. If you enjoy nature then why don’t you plant a wildlife habitat this year.

Note:  The best time to plant trees and shrubs is in the fall or spring.  If you are undecided on what trees to grow why not start by planting a crabapple tree.  This tree has pretty flowers in the spring followed by small apple looking fruit in the fall.  Leave the fruit on your tree and it will provide birds and other wildlife food in winter.

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