Creating man-made habitat hollows in old or dead trees is becoming popular with home owners and councils as an alternative to tree removal. Habitat hollows attract native wildlife to our urban areas. They can add value to the area through enhanced character and environment. Around 300 species in Australia depend on habitat hollows for their home, shelter or seasonal nesting.
Habitat hollows are cavities that form in a tree trunk or branch. They usually start forming inside a tree from insect damage or fungi. The opening is created from damage to the outside of the tree, like lightening or fire. Once the inside of the tree is exposed, it dries out. Fungi feed on the wood and continue hollowing out the tree. The process takes a very long time – usually over 100 years.
Habitat hollow residents
Animals use habitat hollows for shelter and protection. Hollow-dependant animals need them to survive. There are no animals in Australia that can create hollows, so they rely on mother nature. Australian animals that use habitat hollows include bats, lorikeets, lizards, bees and possums. These animals need hollows of different sizes and shapes to suit their needs. As you can imagine, a possum hollow will take much longer to form than a lizard’s hollow.
An alternative to tree removal
Creating man-made habitat hollows in old or dead trees is becoming popular with home owners and councils as an alternative to tree removal. We’re fortunate in Australia to have backyards, school grounds, and businesses with Eucalypts which are ideal for creating habitat hollows.
Rather than wait 100 years, a qualified Arborist can create a hollow in one day. Before they start, they’ll talk to you about the kind of animals you wish to attract, or what wildlife is local to your area. This will determine the size and shape of the habitat hollow.
The Arborist will assess the tree and look for any existing hollows. They may be able to accelerate a natural hollow by pruning the tree in the right. If there are no hollows, they’ll survey the trunk or branches and decide on the best place for your made-made hollow. The Arborist will create the habitat hollow using precise chainsaw techniques and create a faceplate from the existing bark to cover the hollow. This will be the front door of the animals’ new home.
We’ve created habitat hollows for councils and home owners. You can contact us for a consultation if you’re interested in creating a habitat hollow in your yard.