(UNDATED) – Native wildlife could use your help during extreme weather. Wildlife species have four basic needs: space, water, food, and cover. Providing an ample supply of food and cover in the winter months can help them survive.
To increase the winter supply of food, the Department of Natural Resources says to plant a variety of native shrubs and trees that produce both soft fruits and hard seeds. Soft fruit from species like persimmon, blackgum, elderberry, serviceberry, and dogwood are relished by many species of birds and mammals. Hard-seed species include hazelnut, hickory, pecan, and oak. Plant both white and red oak groups, as the acorns develop at different times. Some other trees and shrubs provide consistent food sources throughout winter, including red cedar, sumac, coralberry, and American cranberry bush.
Winter cover is also valuable because it can shield wildlife from harsh winter winds and snow. Plant evergreen trees or shrubs that do not lose their leaves, such as pine, red cedar, white cedar, hemlock, or spruce. Allow branches to extend down to the bottom of the trunk to keep out wind and snow.
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