Trees and woods

Trees offer even more opportunities for birds, insects and other wildlife


Old trees offer nesting holes and nooks to hide in.  Resist removing them and consider leaving stumps and trunks as an interest piece in the garden.  Insects will love the rotting wood and this will provide more food for birds – you may even get a great spotted woodpecker visiting!

Most trees offer nesting sites, songposts, hunting spots and protection from predators.


But think about the changing seasons and how the lack of leaves will look - leaves help protect from predators, so that pretty bush protecting the hanging feeder all summer may not offer any protection during winter!

Choose trees with berries for fruit loving songbirds.  The berry season lasts from late summer through much of winter.  Consider mixing plants that offer a range of fruits lasting throughout the whole season.

Native plants are best; many support edible insects and larvae as well as berries.

  • Holly – permanent food and shelter all year around

  • Rowan, cherry and elder – for berries

  • Apples, crab apples – insects, larvae and windfalls in autumn

  • Oak and pine – structure and habitat


If you have space, consider planting a grove of trees – a mini wood!  Most garden birds are woodland birds and will greatly appreciate the trees, cover and food you provide.

The edges of these areas are perfect for larger shrubs like roses and viburnum and nectar rich woodland flowers like foxglove and bluebells.

Leave leaf litter in place.  It is vital for the natural cycle and many species of insect depend on it.