The Top 6 Trees For Wildlife

The Top 6 Trees For Wildlife

Are you looking to transform your backyard into a wildlife sanctuary? Well, don’t stop only there– make it into a wildlife oasis with these 6 trees that are the best for attracting all sorts of animals, pollinators and more!

Not only will you be helping the outdoor environment, but at the same time you’ll also be adding color, shade, attractive bark and other eye-catching features to your landscape. 

1. The Quaking Aspen

One of Nature Hills’ favorite choices for wildlife-friendly trees is the Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides). Not only is this tree lovely (with its white bark and gently dancing leaves), but it's also a versatile gift for outdoor creatures. A pioneering species that works well in natural informal groups as it grows in the wild.

Deer, Elk and Moose enjoy its shade and love to nibble its leaves and twigs for the nutritional boost it gives them throughout the year.

You’ll find out that many animals venture into the Aspen's stately presence to enjoy its protective shade, and several birds particularly enjoy it for the nesting opportunities it presents. 

If you're anything like us, watching a graceful deer stroll across the yard brings a special sense of awe and tranquility to a home. 

There's nothing quite like the feeling of welcoming some of nature's most spectacular creatures, and having the right trees, like a Quaking Aspen, can be essential to issuing that invitation directly to them!

2. American Holly

A close second to the Aspen as a terrific friend to wildlife is the American Holly (Ilex opaca). This uniquely beautiful broadleaved evergreen (with its serrated, glossy leaves and bright, scarlet berries), presents an irresistible lure to a variety of songbirds, deer, fox and squirrels to name just a few. 

Holly is a great tree to attract birds– Bluebirds and Threshers especially love to nest amid its evergreen foliage! 

You’ll notice during the fall and winter months that the American Holly will increase in visitors. It’s berries and foliage make for the perfect food source and shelter during the brisk winter months. 

3. Eastern Red Cedar

The Eastern Red Cedar's (Juniperus virginiana) evergreen nature provides excellent cover for a multitude of wildlife.

Because of the dense branches this evergreen has, it makes for the ideal refuge and shelter for birds and other mammals. 

Sometimes squirrels or birds will create their own nests using the soft, silvery bark that peels off in long strips.

Its foliage and fruit come in handy for deer, birds, coyotes, rabbits, pheasants..and many more furry friends in need of a handout.

4. The Hackberry Tree

Likewise, the Hackberry Tree (Celtis occidentalis) also provides natural sustenance. Its tiny, succulent fruit is beloved by game birds, songbirds and many small mammals. 

But the outdoor wildlife doesn’t get all of the fun provided by the Hackberry Tree. An added benefit that we especially enjoy is that we can make the fruit into jams and jellies! 

The Hackberry is even a caterpillar host tree, with many species of butterfly calling it home. Imagine being able to closely watch a caterpillar transform into a beautiful butterfly on your very own tree. 

5. The Shumard Oak

The Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) is one of the fastest-growing oaks!

That not only means you’ll obtain shade and visual interest faster, but you’ll also be providing a food/shelter source for wildlife faster too. You'll have your furry and feathered friends visiting in no time!

Acorns from these stately trees are relatively larger and a favorite food source for turkeys, deer, squirrels, blue jays, wood ducks and many more birds & mammals.


6. American Persimmon

Finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention the American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). Female Persimmon trees produce a delicious fruit that deer and other wildlife have been found to actively seek out. 

Of course, the fruit is also beneficial to other wildlife as well, but the best part of growing an American Persimmon is that their sweet fruit is wonderful in jams, as well as out favorite use– homemade brandy.

Your backyard oasis awaits you and the outdoor wildlife! These 6 trees are only the beginning to building the best landscape for animals, mammals, pollinators and more. 

Happy gardening!

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