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10 Trees in Wisconsin that Lure Wildlife

Posted: February 28, 2019

Written by: Wachtel Tree Science

Categories: Blog | Tree & Shrub Planting

Wisconsin is known for its’ brave wildlife. If the property is landscaped properly, animals such as squirrels, birds, turkeys, and deer can be spotted feeding, playing, or resting from your window. As we approach the optimal time for planting, the spring season, here are a few recommendations that are sure to not only enhance the appearance of your landscapes but also attract wildlife.

1. Ash Trees – Green, White, and Black

ash tree

Growing up to 90 feet tall, ash trees grow fast and are great trees for creating shade. When it comes to attracting wildlife, ashes provide nutrition for red foxes, snowshoe hares, and opossums. Additionally, they attract beavers and deer due to their tender twigs and stems.

2. Big-Toothed and Quaking Aspen

aspen tree

Though they’re more common up north, both quaking and big-toothed aspens grow rapidly statewide. Growing up to 60 feet tall and maturing around 50 years, Aspens attract many animals, such as deer, beavers, grouse and porcupines (mainly in the north). Because of their life expectancy, Aspens become homes to woodpeckers and chickadees.

3. Basswood

basswood tree

Standing as tall as 80 feet in height, Basswood trees are the perfect den for wildlife. Squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits enjoy their nutlets. In addition, deer are often found around a Basswood due to feeding on their tender twigs.

4. Elm Trees – American, Slippery (Red), and Rock

elm tree

Found throughout the state of Wisconsin, Elm trees can tower to 100 feet tall. Though many have fallen due to Dutch Elm disease, there are still plenty that attracts a variety of wildlife. Next to songbirds, game birds, and squirrels, they attract wild turkeys, ring-necked pheasants, bobwhite quail, grouse, prairie chickens, and wood ducks. Baltimore Orioles are also known to wave their nests within elms.

5. Maple – Sugar, Red and Silver 

maple tree

Known for their stunning fall appearance and cooling shade, Maple trees can grow anywhere from 65 to 100 feet tall. Because of their seeds, buds, and flowers, they attract grosbeaks, purple finches, and nuthatches. Additionally, you can find red, gray, and fox squirrels as well as white-tailed deer. Maples also make for a great cavity tree.

6. Willow

willow tree

With many varieties of willow trees and shrubs throughout the state, you’ll find these fast growers near water. Because most of them have weaker wood, their buds and twigs are food for grouse, deer, and grosbeaks. Willows will also attract beavers and snowshoe hares due to their bark.

7. Northern White Cedar

northern white cedar

While Northern Whites are only native to the north (unless planted), they are known to attract a few common animals. Birds like the pine siskin and common redpolls are known to feed on their winged seeds. In addition to these birds, red squirrels also feed on the seeds. Lastly, white cedar swamps are oftentimes an overwintering habitat for deer.

8. Eastern Red Cedar

eastern red cedareastern red cedar

Contrary to White Cedars, Red Cedars are found in gravelly and rocky soils of Southern Wisconsin. This tree is known to provide shelter for the robin, chipping sparrow, junco, and several types of warblers. On top of several bird types, they also attract eastern chipmunks, white-footed mice and deer.

9. Beech Trees

beech tree leaves

Surviving in a cool, moist environment near Lake Michigan, Beech trees offer a beautiful appearance in fall. They attract a variety of wildlife as their nuts are the perfect food. Animals included are squirrels, chipmunks, bears, porcupines, grouse, and many songbirds like blue jays, chickadees, and blackbirds.

10. Black Walnut Tree

black walnut tree

Towering around 100 feet, the Black Walnut tree makes for a great cavity and den tree despite the thick and coarse bark. Animals such as foxes, gray squirrels, and red-bellied woodpeckers crack open the nuts to get at the nutmeat. Squirrels specifically bury the nuts in the fall and make use of them in early spring after the ground has thawed.

Depending on the type of wildlife you’d like, there are many other Wisconsin trees that can fill your property with animals. For additional information about planting trees this spring, contact us today!


2022-04-14T13:39:33-05:00 February 28th, 2019|