Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Oak Adoration

One of our most prolific insect-supporting (and hence songbird-supporting) trees: white oak

White oak, Quercus alba

Doug Tallamy's books on native plants and insects (Bringing Nature Home, and Nature's Best Hope) emphasize the importance of oaks in our woods and yards. They provide food and habitat for "537 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars" - isn't that phenomenal? What a legacy!

The incredible follow-up to the white oak sustaining so many insects, Prof. Tallamy explains, is that these become the food "for 95% of all our young songbirds." And our bird populations have been declining in North America, to the order of 29% (Birdlife decline) since the 1970's. We're losing tons of breeding individuals. We're talking about a drop in abundance, not individual species, which can ultimately affect the intricate functioning of an ecosystem. That's mind-blowingly scary.

Start with a white oak - plant one! Or alternatively, don't fell one!

This is a great informative read:

Time to get off my soap-box before I start crying ...

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