Long live the deadwood

Shelter and living space for insects

Deadwood is one of the liveliest habitats in our nature. Many insects that are also found in our gardens benefit from it. Leave room for old tree trunks, deadwood hedges, stems or piles of leaves!

Many do not know and it sounds paradoxical, but dead wood is one of the liveliest habitats in our nature. Many insects that are also found in our gardens benefit from it, whether as food, hiding place or building material. Species such as the common holey bee, the blue-black wooden bee, the common golden wasp, the golden rose beetle or the common ram are dependent on dead wood or can hardly do without it.

If you have one or even more of the following elements in your garden, you will soon be able to enjoy the little helpers.

Habitat 1: Rotting tree trunk

A simple and straightforward solution for dead wood is a tree stump or a large piece of tree trunk that is allowed to rot in the garden. Here you can let your imagination run wild and be creative. The tree trunk should ideally be in the sun. Once you have found a good place, species such as the leaf-cutting bee, the wooden bee or the fur bee meet here over the years.

Habitat 2: The Benjes hedge

A benjes hedge is a hedge made of dead wood that, as a fence or partition, gives the garden rustic cottage garden charm and attracts many insects and mammals that can spend the winter here.

It creates a favorable microclimate and supplies the soil with nutrients. To create a benjes hedge, you put thick pieces of wood in a row in the ground. The distance depends on the length of the clippings – four meters are ideal, but shorter is also possible. A second row next to it holds the clippings and fixes them in place. Originally native trees were planted between the branches, but you can do without them. The birds do this job. Now you can stack the branches and raise them as you like.

Habitat 3: Old stems

Marrow-containing stems such as those of raspberry, blackberry, dog rose and black elder are suitable nesting sites for species such as masked bees and black or blue mace-horn bees. If you have this in the garden, you can easily make a nesting aid out of it. Simply cut the stems into one meter long pieces and attach them vertically to a fence or other location. The bees usually nest for over a year, so the stems have to stay hanging for at least that long.

Habitat 4: piles of leaves

Piles of leaves are also important refuges for the insect world. These “leftovers” of the garden year are important suppliers of nutrients for the garden and provide winter quarters for insects, birds, amphibians and many mammals such as hedgehogs and shrews. A pile of leaves in a shady and windless corner, which can remain in place until late spring, quickly becomes home. The foliage insulates and keeps the animals nice and warm in winter. The pruning provides the garden with additional building material.

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