Dead trees provide a unique and significant wildlife habitat for many animals. These standing dead or almost dead trees, called snags, are an important part of a healthy forested ecosystem. Snags can be a result from many environmental factors such as lightening, fire, disease, animal damage, drought, root competition, old age, and an excessive amount of shade.
Trees of all sizes and species can become snags, aiding the environment for a more animal diverse wildlife and providing a safe haven for wandering animals. Birds and small animals reap the benefits from these trees that provide a location for nests, nurseries, storage areas, foraging, roosting, and perching. What makes a snag unique from a live tree is that it actually provides more habitats for wildlife! Snags have cavities; made from woodpeckers, hollow trunks, and dead branches that supplies wildlife for the ideal one stop or hang spot. Insects are also a part of this intricate natural system that provides easy food for animals such as raccoons and bears; who love to tear into snags in order to harvest the protein rich insects.
It is important that snags are included in a forested area to maintain a healthy ecosystem. You can create a snag from a live tree if you wish to help provide a habitat for wildlife or simply be mindful of the potential an old tree can provide. When you are considering cutting down old dead trees, or unhealthy trees to be logged, first consider the life that dead trees can bring to many.