Going Back to Australia's Roots: Why Planting Native Trees Can Save Endangered Species
When considering which trees to add to your property, you will naturally look for a species that is both attractive and beneficial in terms of what it can offer your garden: for example, shade. However, before you choose which trees to plant in your garden, you should consider the effect that they will have on the local insect and animal populations.
Did you know, for example, that native Australian birds such as magpies, kookaburras and willie wagtails are in decline across the country? Not only that, but 21% of Australian mammals, including the koala bear, are threatened by extinction. One of the causes of this steady decline is the loss of natural habitat and native plants and trees.
Native Insects Need Native Trees
Although an ornamental tree, such as a Bradford pear, or a deciduous tree, such as a Japanese maple, look nice, they do not benefit Australian insects. The native insect population of Australia feeds on Australian plants and trees. If Australian gardens, towns and cities are filled with trees and plants from Europe and China then, the insect population decreases.
Less insects? Isn't that a good thing? It might be for your car windscreen or for your home on a hot summer's night, but for the animals that eat those insects, fewer insects spells doom. Did you know that 96% of all terrestrial birds rely on insects to survive? The less Australian trees and plants there are in an area, the less native Australian insects and animals there will be too.
Native Trees Help the Ecosystem
A recent study conducted by the University of Delaware, discovered that native trees and plants produce more caterpillars than non-native species. Why is this important? Because caterpillars are a rich source of bird food! Although the study was carried out in the US, its findings are true for any part of the world.
Native insects need native trees and shrubs. The more native insects in an ecosystem, the more native wildlife there will be in the area. This is the natural cycle of life wherever you go in the world.
Plant Native Australian Trees in Your Garden
If you are about to purchase some trees for your garden, remember how important they are to the local insect and animal population too. Plant Eucalyptus trees, Willow Bottlebrushes, Lilly Pillies and Australian Beech trees. These are all beautiful native trees. More importantly, they are all native to Australia and will benefit the local ecosystem.
By planting Australian trees in your garden, you can create a tranquil and thriving habitat for the native animals. This way, everyone wins. You get to enjoy the shade and beauty of your trees, and the native wildlife in the area gets food, shelter and a habitat in which to breed and flourish.