What should you do if you have a lifeless tree on your property? Consider your options. Although trees lose most of their aesthetic appeal when they die, they provide a beneficial afterlife. Dead trees are a source of food, shelter and home sites for wildlife. They may also be used for firewood, garden projects or building material. When you discover a dead tree, decide if it should be removed and what you want to do with the remaining materials.
Creating a Wildlife Tree – By leaving a portion of a lifeless tree standing (at least 15 feet is recommended), you can encourage a natural wildlife habitat, maintain safety and create a spectacular observatory for you and your children. As wood softens, insects residing in trees become accessible to birds. Woodpeckers excavate food and inadvertently create nesting sites for other birds and small woodland creatures. If you want to decorate your standing observatory, plant vines that will climb and cover the trunk, such as Virginia creeper or Climbing hydrangea vine. Accessorize by hanging flower baskets or feeders. You may also rest logs horizontally on the ground along a walkway, in a garden or near a pond. Make a narrow bed around the edges and plant wildflowers to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects. These and other plant species will eagerly take root on and around your nutrient-rich log.
Preserving a Piece of History – A very creative way to discard a lifeless tree is to use the wood for building projects. That’s exactly what George Mohrmann encourages with his company, Sawmill-On-Wheels. He feels that many people are looking for a productive way to use downed logs or preserve memories of their personal history with a particular tree. Sawmill-On-Wheels and similar companies throughout the northeast turn what was once considered cumbersome waste, downed logs, into valuable hardwood and softwood that can be used in a variety of projects and they do it right on your property! “A fully hydraulic, completely transportable saw allows me to produce just the type and size of wood needed for a particular project and often in sizes that are hard to find elsewhere,” says Mohrmann. Some of the work he has seen includes tree houses, fireplace mantles, giant beams, furniture, benches, carvings and matching old wood for restoration projects. How would you preserve your piece of history?
The removal of a tree does not mark the end its usefulness or your enjoyment of its beauty. In fact, it can be a very rewarding experience. You will preserve precious memories and form new ones by creating a unique afterlife for your old friends. For a complimentary consultation of your landscape, evaluation of a particular tree or hazard inspection, consult your arborist.
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