Trees provide numerous benefits including improved air quality, energy conservation and better water quality. But if you’re a nature enthusiast, you probably appreciate the wildlife that trees bring into urban areas. Trees provide habitat for all sorts of plants, animals, and even fungi. So when you plant a tree, you’re really planting a mini ecosystem!
Though a little more difficult to see, pollinating insects like bees and butterflies form yet another component of the urban ecosystem, and they rely heavily on our urban trees for habitat and food. Our urban gardens provide critical habitat for pollinators and many residents are helping pollinators by planting native species in their yards. This includes trees like our native maples and willows that flower in the early spring before many of our wildflowers are flowering. Pollinators need flowering plants throughout the spring, summer and fall and early spring flowering trees are a key food source that we need to add to our gardens where possible.
Of course, the healthier our urban trees are, the healthier the entire ecosystem will be. It follows that a greater diversity of species and ages will also lead to a greater diversity of wildlife in our urban forest. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that we take care of our trees. So next time you’re strolling through the city, look up and remember that trees count for our pollinators!