Decorate a Tree or Shrub for Wildlife 

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
en Español

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Deer Eating TreeSomeone recently sent me an electronic video card that showcased a couple of children making suet type cakes in holiday shapes. They decorated a small evergreen tree with the ornaments and slices of fruit for wildlife. You can do this in your own yard on a small tree or shrub or it’s a great way to recycle a cut Christmas tree. It’s a great activity to do with your children or grandchildren and then you can enjoy watching the wildlife together.

If recycling your cut Christmas tree, remove the lights and ornaments and stick the tree in the ground in your garden (or even a large pot will work) where you can see it from inside your house. That way you can enjoy the wildlife that take advantage of the treats you provide. 

Here is a list of items you can add to the tree to attract birds, squirrels, and other small wildlife:

  • String different kinds of small fruit together such as grapes, raisins, cranberries using a needle and thread and wrap around the tree
  • Sting popcorn or raw peanuts using a needle and thread or include with a string of small fruit
  • Cut thin slices of fruit like apples, oranges, pears and use ribbon to hang individual slices from the tree
  • Make or purchase a netted bag and fill with bird seed. Add some crushed eggshells to supplement the bird’s need for calcium. Tie the bag with ribbon and hang it from the tree.
  • Collect pine cones, coat them with a mixture of peanut butter and oatmeal and roll in bird seed and hang on the tree with ribbon
  • You can easily find recipes on the internet to make bird-feeder or suet type ornaments to  hang on the tree