Saturday, May 9, 2015

Why Dead Trees Make Great Homes

This morning, the staff working hard down at the Horticulture Center on Bloomfield Farm were lucky to be joined by a pileated woodpecker, who was also working hard at a stump twenty feet from our window.

At the Morris Arboretum, dead trees are usually completely removed to reduce the hazards they pose to passersby.  However, dead wood can serve as food and habitat for all sorts of organisms – from insects and fungi, to squirrels and birdsThe Morris Arboretum Urban Forestry Consultants advocate leaving standing deadwood as “wildlife trees”, where it is safe and appropriate, because they add enormous ecological value to a landscape.  Because this stump outside of the Horticulture Center was purposefully cut to a safe height, it can be enjoyed by this handsome pileated woodpecker.

Contributed by Corey Bassett, the Martha S. Miller Urban Forestry Intern,
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

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