Want wildlife to flourish in your garden? Keep dead tree trunks around

I like things to be tidy. Sometimes that’s not a good thing.

My garden has some dead trees, including the trunks of long-dead palm trees. My first thought when I noticed the trunks was to have them cut down by an arborist, but after a few years of living in this house I’m so glad that I didn’t.

Felled tree

Dead and dying trees are an important part of the natural environment and are very important for wildlife. Birds nest in the holes in trunks, including the rarely-seen owls that live in the tropics. These nooks enable them to raise their chicks in safety.

Sometimes you might decide to cut down a tall tree trunk for safety’s sake – in other words to stop it falling and doing damage during high winds. Even then consider laving the felled trunk lying in the garden in pieces. Insects and fungi thrive in rotting logs like these.

If you fell tree trunks, keep the logs away from the house in case of termites.

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