‘Habitat trees’ are trees that have been killed because they are considered dangerous due to dropping limbs or other issues, but left on site. Their canopy & their branches are removed. The trees are ringbarked & artificial hollows are carved into the remaining wood. Sometimes, nesting boxes are also attached.
The idea is that even though dead, the trees continue to provide habitat for hollow-dependent wildlife. About 350 Australian animals use hollows for either roosting or nesting. It takes around 100-150 years for a tree to even start developing hollows, so our wildlife is at a distinct disadvantage with tree hollows being very scarce across Australia.
I was really pleased to see the changes around the ‘habitat trees’ in Sydney Park. I last wrote about these trees here – http://bit.ly/2fQ9DkG
The area around both trees has been extensively planted making what I consider viable habitat for a range of species, especially small birds. Instead of two highly visible standing dead trees, the City of Sydney Council has surrounded these trees with densely planted living trees, shrubs & understory plants. To me it looks like the bush.
I am not good at estimating distances, but my guess is that it is at least 25-metres of thick bush around the two habitat trees. Already a number of living trees are the same height as the two dead trees. This provides supreme cover & safety for any wildlife who are using the man-made hollows.
I think what has been created here is perfect. Real habitat has been provided for wildlife & we are not left with what could be considered an eye-sore of looking at two heavily pruned dead trees. The trees have blended into the new landscape and are not the only thing ones eyes focus on.
You can sit in comfort at a number of places near this area & watch & listen to the birds making it great for bird photography too.