Native trees and shrubs provide benefits for wildlife, your family, and add to the value of your property. Learn about making your home firesafe from wildfires, tree health and native plant selection to enhance wildlife and protect your property value.
Backyard Forest Stewardship
Living in the woods brings with it the responsibility to protect not only home and family, but to keep your forest healthy, attractive while improving wildlife habitat. Tips for forest health include: trees adequately spaced; leave snags or provide nest boxes for wildlife; pile brush and leave downed logs for wildlife; plant or promote shrubs for wildlife; plant grasses and forbs for wildlife; and protect sensitive areas from livestock and horses (fence along streams and wetlands). For more information on Backyard Forest Stewardship contact the Washington Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 47037, Olympia, WA 98504-7037.
Wildlife enjoyment can be enhanced on your property by providing proper food, shelter and habitat diversity. Start by planting native berry-producing trees and shrubs. Examples include blue elderberry, cascara pacific dogwood, and kinnickinick on upland sites. Provide nesting boxes for birds, mammals and bats where standing dead trees (snags) are not practical. Encourage habitat diversity by planting a variety of plant species and sizes. Retain understory vegetation and downed logs. Protect or establish trees and shrubs along streams and wetlands. For more information on Backyard Wildlife Stewardship contact the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and request their Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Packet, call (425) 775-1311.
For more information on this subject refer to the following publications available for purchase through WSU publications:
- Wildlife Ecology and Forest Habitat EB1866
- Is There a Place for Fish and Wildlife in Your Woodland? MISC0132
- Managing Small Woodlands for Cavity-Nesting Birds MISC0160
- Riparian Areas: Fish and Wildlife Havens MISC0133
- Wetlands as Varied as Our Region MISC0179
- Managing Forest Habitats for Migrant Songbird MISC0198