Make Your Yard Wildlife Friendly for Winter
Invite wildlife to your yard and neighborhood for the winter and keep them coming back year-round. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it helps keep important species thriving. With a few simple steps, you can beautify your landscape while enjoying sharing it with songbirds, butterflies, hummingbirds and other desirable visitors.
Trees, shrubs, and plants offer both shelter and food for wildlife. Encourage them to hang out with you by offering places to nest, dine, and raise their young.
Fortunately, Colorado abounds with native vegetation that’s not only wildlife-friendly but beautiful, too. Consult your local extension center or horticulturalist for advice on the best species for your area and application. Garden centers often have wildlife-friendly selections and knowledgeable staff to guide you, too.
Birdhouses designed for specific species can add extra habitat, too.
Plant Native Species
Native animals prefer native plants. They’ve evolved to thrive on what nature provides, so give them what they’re used to and you’ll be richly rewarded. When you shop, get expert advice for your particular climate, soils, and environment, and be sure to avoid invasive or toxic plants, especially if pets and children will frequent your landscape.
Add Food and Water
Choose trees and plants that provide nutrition for birds, insects, and desirable other desirable animals. A selection of both annual and perennial flowers offers nectar when blooming and seeds in the fall and winter. Fruit and berry trees and shrubs like blueberry, dogwood, crabapple, hawthorn, and hackberry are just a few of the native species that provide both food and shelter for wildlife.
All animals need water to survive, so add a source and you’ll be rewarded with attractive visitors. A small pond or water feature with a running supply will attract creatures large and small. Make it deep enough and keep water flowing to prevent freeze-ups and it will draw visitors year-round.
You can supplement natural sources with feeders and birdbaths appropriate to the wildlife you’re trying to attract.
Plant to Make a Difference
By planting native vegetation, you add habitat for wildlife that’s under stress in many places where growth and development are shrinking their natural environment. Vegetation helps keep the air clean, too, and helps moderate air temperature and humidity.
For more information about creating wildlife-friendly habitats, consult organizations like the National Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society, local garden clubs, and your county and state extension services.
If you need help adding the right trees and shrubs for your landscape, Donovan Arborists offers planting, pruning, and shearing services as well as a complete landscape maintenance package for property in the Denver area.
We’re always happy to give free estimates to homeowners and property managers for any services they may need.