Life in an Old Tree

“Life In A Dead tree” reads the sign abutting the nature trail at Sea Pines, Hilton Head. While others may consider a dead tree to be–well, dead–at Sea Pines, the tree is viewed differently, as teeming with life, nurturing life and protecting the environment.  Dead trees are considered to be so valuable that you may need permission to remove a dead tree.

What possible benefit is the protection of a dead tree?  Read the sign!  Dead trees provide a nesting place for birds and small animals while providing building material for their nests.  A fallen tree provides ground cover and shade.  It can provide a breeding area for insects (for good and bad). It provides shelter for small animals and birds from predators, large and small.  It creates a barrier to wind, protecting the soil from erosion.

At the end of the process of decay, it fertilizes and nourishes the earth, providing the nutrients that constantly renew the forest.  A tree submerged in the water provides a place of safety for fish and other aquatic life.  All things considered, there is still plenty of life in that dead tree as it supports and protects new life around it.


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