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A Dead Dogwood Could Be Great Habitat for Some Birds

Making It Grow Minute

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I’ve wrapped some chicken wire around a dead dogwood tree and planted a native honeysuckle, the beautiful red Lonicera sempervirens, at the base. Why, you might ask, don’t I just cut that craggy old thing down? Because snags are important to cavity nesting birds. In past years, we’ve left dead pines up and when they fell – they were far away from the house, they always had the remnants of woodpecker nests in them. As the honeysuckle vine gets fuller, it, can serve as magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies that will visit it to drink the nectar found in its tubular flowers. Another native vine I might add is Bignonia capreolata, a real draw for hummers – maybe I’ll sink it in a big-open bottomed pot to keep it in bounds, as it tends to spread. Get started – fall is the best time for planting.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.