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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

Alternative uses for fallen trees Part 2

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Snag it - If your tree snapped off above the ground and does not pose a safety hazard, consider leaving it as a wildlife snag. Snags provide excellent wildlife habitat for food and shelter and can add an interesting vertical landscape feature. If you have a professional arborist out removing a hazard tree, ask if they can leave at least an 8-foot tall section standing for wildlife.

Avoid topping trees - Topping trees creates an unhealthy tree that is more likely to fall. Deal only with certified arborists or foresters. Plant Amnesty at has more information and an arborist referral service.

Using timbers as edging. Evergreen logs can make excellent natural edging between lawns and garden beds. Or use this newly available wood to create some new raised garden beds.

As wood decays it attracts a variety of insects. That is what helps attract all the birds and other animals. To avoid introducing insect problems such as carpenter ants, keep rotting wood away from your home.

If you have any question about the safety or condition of a tree, consult with a certified forester or arborist. Many trees have been lost to the windstorm, lets not lose many more to bad advice or hysteria.

Replant new trees The winter is a great time to replant native trees and shrubs in the northwest. Not only will your new trees get growing, planting can be quite therapeutic as well.

Make lumber - A list of small scale sawmills can be found at

Visit for more helpful how-to tips on safe methods of disposing of storm damaged trees and shrubs.