University of Florida

Snags

For some wildlife, wood only becomes valuable after death. Many mammals and nearly 40 species of birds in Florida nest in the cavities of standing dead trees, called snags. Leaving dead or dying trees where they stand is one way to help Florida wildlife.

Snags provide food as well as shelter. Woodpeckers and other small birds feed on the insects that live in snags, and birds of prey often use snags as hunting and nesting perches.

Snags are produced by fire, lightning, and other natural events. But you can also contribute a snag to the ecosystem. If you're planning to remove a tree from your property, instead of cutting it to the ground completely, consider leaving a ten- to fifteen-foot stump for wildlife to use.

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