Planting for Wildlife

This beautiful photo was taken from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. One way to attract wildlife is to plant for wildlife. When selecting trees and shrubs look for plants that will provide shelter and food not only during the warm weather but also the colder winter months. Make sure to include some plants that retain their fruit through winter into early spring, the time of greatest food scarcity. These plants generally produce fruit that is not highly preferred, so the fruit is not consumed during the fall when other foods are abundant. Examples are hawthorn, crab apple, holly, high-bush cranberry, and stag-horn sumac. They are excellent plants for wildlife because they offer emergency winter food, and some, such as sumac with its red fruiting spikes, can add structural interest to a bleak winter landscape. I would suggest that you seek out information from your local DNR, County Extension office or your favorite local nursery for best choices for your climate. It won't be long and we can start thinking about starting seeds. I can't wait!