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Dead Trees Bring Life to Forest Critters

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Nicholls, Thomas; Ostry, Mike

Year Published



Minnesota BetterForests 7(4):14-15


What good is a dying or dead tree in a forest? Dead and dying trees don't awe us with their beauty; they just stand or lie there on the forest floor, offering no promise of lumber or other wood products we need. But if we look more closely at such trees, we may see lots of life in them: a raccoon family huddled in a burrow, a downy woodpecker excavating another nesting cavity. In fact, in the United States, dead and dying trees provide food, water, shelter, and living space for at least 30 percent of our birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. How dead and dying trees help forest critters live is an intriguing story.


Nicholls, Thomas; Ostry, Mike. 2003. Dead Trees Bring Life to Forest Critters. Minnesota BetterForests 7(4):14-15

Last updated on: August 11, 2006