Trees and their role

Trees are an important species in various ecosystems. Both wildlife and people interact with trees. They are a primary provider for biodiversity. They are a habitat for a variety of species. They also provide food for wildlife. There are trees that are invasive and have a negative impact on the environment for native species.  Trees also provide people with resources. We harvest trees as raw material that is used to make products. Trees are a natural carbon sink. They produce oxygen which allows us to breathe. On this page I will discuss different trees that I have found which provide for both wildlife and humans.

Eastern Hemlock

This tree often grows along water ways. It’s long lasting. This tree provides food and habitat which is especially helpful for birds in the winter. It provides shade and shelter. Many bird species nest in this tree. Hemlocks have dense foliage which helps prevent runoff and sedimentation. People make use of the bark to make tannin for leather. The wood is used for making framing, roofing, crates, and boxes.

Eastern White Pine

This tree is used by a variety of wildlife. Its bark is eaten by porcupine and deer. Squirrels, chipmunks, and birds, such as crossbills and various songbirds, eat the seeds the trees produce. Birds nest in this tree. Bald eagles nest on the top of the crown. This tree can grow up to 220 feet high. This is a valued timber tree. Timber industry became a large industry in Vermont in the late 1800s. Its wood is used for construction, furniture making, cabinetry, and woodwork.

Red Maple

This tree is known as a generalist species. It can adapt in a range of conditions and is known as a “swamp tree”. Different birds nest in Red maples including: Black-backed Woodpeckers, American Redstarts, and Downy Woodpeckers. Its leaves, twigs, fruit, and bark provide food for different wildlife. Humans use this tree as a lumber resource. Native Americans used it to make spoons, baskets, and bowls.

Yellow Birch

This tree is an important source of food for wildlife. For example, red squirrels cut and store catkins and eat the seeds. American Beaver chews on its bark. Birds eat the seeds produced from their cones. It also provides a breeding ground for species. Yellow Birch is used to make veneer as well as doors and cabinets.

Sugar maple

Animals feed on its seeds, buds, twigs, and leaves including: White-tailed deer, flying squirrels, and various Aphids. This tree provides nesting for birds such as: woodpeckers, songbirds, and cavity nesters. It produces pollen for insects. Sugar maple produces tasty syrup that people eat. Sugaring has been an important industry and dates back to the 1600s. It is also a valued hardwood used for making furniture.

White Oak and Northern Red Oak

Many different kinds of invertebrates and insects feed on oak leaves. As a predator, spiders tend to be found near oaks. Oaks also provide acorns and produce the most acorns during Autumn and Winter. Out of the species found in my spot, Blue Jays, woodpeckers, and crows eat the acorns. White Oak is used to make cabinetry, furniture,and veneer and is used for flooring and boat building. Northern red oak is an important source for hardwood lumber. It is also used to make furniture, cabinetry, veneer, and for flooring.


This tree is an invasive and has a negative impact on native species. As invasive species, they can adapt in different soils and environmental conditions. They shade out native vegetation.

Black Cherry 

Although their berries are poisonous to many species, a variety of songbirds and passerine birds eat their cherries. They are also eaten by larger animals such as black bears and wild turkey. Their twigs and saplings are high in nutrients. This tree also has flowers that contain nectar and pollen that allow for pollination. It is a valued timber used for furniture and cabinet making. Its sap is used for medicine.


Various wildlife eat the fruit from this tree. This is a common street tree and is often planted because of its beauty. Their fruits are used as condiments and for medicinal purposes.

Black Locust

This tree provides nectar for bees. It is an effective tree for erosion control and increases soil fertility and the process of nitrogen fixation in the soil. Its wood is used as a timber to make hardwood lumber and fence posts. It is also used for fuel.