Nothing goes waste in the forest; even dead plants and animals play an important role in maintaining a healthy forest habitat. Dead standing trees (snags) provide food and shelter. Soft woods such as pine are a good source of insects for woodpeckers; dry hardwoods such as oak provide secure nest sites. Many animals – chickadees, bluebirds and flying squirrels, for example- use the woodpecker holes as well as other natural cavities, for nesting.
Fallen trees (logs) also provide food and shelter. Salamanders, toads and snakes live under logs, where they feed on various insects. Fungi and bacteria, along with insects and worms, break down the wood, releasing its nutrients into the soil where they become available to seedlings. It is through the decay of dead trees that the biomass of the forest is continually recycled.
View a map of the Nature Walk