Tree Inventory Description

Although every species of wildlife has its own requirements for survival, there are basic requirements for wildlife survival that should be kept in mind when developing a habitat: food, water, cover and space. When these requirements are available in abundance wildlife can flourish. However, when habitat requirements are in short supply, the number and distribution of wildlife is limited and thereby becomes what is called a limiting factor.

So, let’s take a closer look at the importance of these requirements:

• Food: Each species eats specific foods regardless of what is available to them. Also, some plants offer more nutritional value than others and availability varies depending on the time of year. For this reason, the quality and quantity of food made available for wildlife is very important.
• Water: All wildlife species need water. Some sources of water are consistently available, such as bodies of water, while others are available depending on time of day or season. Those dependent on specific times include snow, dew and vegetation. Therefore, ensure that your habitat has some source of water.
• Cover: Cover can take many forms and is needed to protect wildlife while nesting, sleeping, playing and traveling. Some forms of cover are rocks, trees, burrows and other natural forms.
• Space: If they are to thrive and survive, all species of wildlife need space. Overcrowding can lead to competition over the habitat requirements. Therefore, only a specific number of animals should live within a given area.

So, given the varying ways that wildlife plantings lend to their habitat, here are a few suggestions for successful wildlife plantings:

• Choose trees and shrubs with high wildlife value, particularly seed, berry and fruit producing species. Plants that hold their fruit through the winter and early spring supply wildlife with a critical winter food source. Some suggestions are dogwoods, chokecherry and ninebark.
• Restore previously disturbed sites by planting for wildlife.
• Establish living fences – rows of shrubs, trees or vines around field boundaries to reduce soil erosion, retain soil moisture and provide essential food and cover.
• Plant various covers in fence rows, windbreaks and yard trees to create a multi-layered habitat.
• Remember that conifers provide winter cover for wildlife and should be incorporated into any wildlife planting scheme.
• Protect wildlife from livestock by fencing livestock out of designated habitat areas.
• Avoid fall plowing when possible and leave standing food plots.

Wildlife plantings can improve the beauty of your land, help with pest control and damaging small animals and improve the numbers of desirable wildlife which will increase your personal enjoyment of the land.

If you have any questions, you can contact your local forestry commission for more help with private woodland management and tree planting assistance.

Tree Inventory Methods
Decision Guide
Tree Planting
Wildlife Management Planting
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