Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Sunday, December 29, 2013
Get rid of your old Christmas tree where it'll do the most good
time of year many of us have “used” Christmas trees to get rid of, but where
and how?After de-tinseling it (along
with removing other adornments) just prop it up vertically in the center of
your backyard brushpile. (Don’t have a brushpile? – you haven’t been reading
this blog regularly). You could also just lean it up against a fence or
something. Your tree will serve the birds for the rest of the winter as shelter
from predators and bad weather. Even though the tree is dead it’s several
degrees warmer inside, and harsh winds are minimized when birds perch on inner branches.
spring arrives (and the tree is looking disheveled) just push it over and let
it become part of the brushpile, decomposing naturally. At that point it will still be mostly green. Birds will still use
it as a nesting site, a source of nest-building material and a place to escape from predators.
Where do birds “roost” in bad weather? Bad weather, (whether rain, cold or wind) finds
birds seeking shelter – a place to roost. Almost all birds roost at night too.
Ground-nesting birds such as Meadowlarks roost temporarily in tall vegetation
or low shrubs. Shrub-nesting species such as Mockingbirds and Cardinals, roost
in dense evergreen shrubs. Cavity-nesters like Bluebirds, Titmice and
Chickadees, may roost in an old nest or unused birdhouse. Almost all birds like
to roost in a brushpile you’ve built up.
YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect
emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the
recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas,
and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA),
International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation
and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net