What I call a wildlife tree is a dead or diseased tree that birds nest in. Wildlife trees are needed to support our healthy forests and wildlife. Birds like the Northern Flicker build their nest by excavating a cavity in a diseased trunk or branch. Quaking aspen are susceptible to heart-rot which makes for easy excavation. Mom and Dad Flicker found this standing dead Alder tree in Oregon for raising their family.
Baby birds are fun to watch but not in a tree right over your tent or picnic table. The standing dead or diseased tree is susceptible to falling or breaking off under pressure of wind or snow. Our Forest Service partners are tree experts and many of our managers are trained to identify trees that pose a hazard to people or facilities in our campgrounds. Hazard trees are removed from our campgrounds, as soon as possible, for your safety.
Not every tree visited by a woodpecker is dead. Insects live on live trees too. It can take years for disease to turn a tree into a hazard risk.
Sapsuckers depend on leaking sap in live trees to trap insects in rows of holes they drill.
Enjoy the wild birds in the forest but don't camp under a wildlife tree.