From our readers: I Planted A Dead Tree!

An inspiring story of a backyard habitat project, submitted by Manon Vanschoyck (Mrs. Van) of Licking County, Ohio.

You may already know how attractive and important dead snags are to birds. Years ago, my husband and I planted a 12-foot snag that was about 6 inches in diameter near our pond to provide a perch for kingfishers (they continue to love it!).

But ever since I read an article written by Julie Zickefoose in BWD. I've been on the lookout for the perfect snag. This past winter's ice storm provided me with just the one. After the storm, my daughter Tara and I hooked some rope up to a huge snag that was 9.5 feet tall by roughly 30 inches in diameter. We hooked it up to the John Deere and hauled it to the front yard. We then dug a hole 2.5 feet deep, put Quikrete in the bottom of it, lowered our dead tree in, and filled in the hole. We put a couple of braces on it until the Quikrete set.

An upright dead snag is a great place to put bird feeders and birdhouses.

Now, lo and behold it's a beauty. I'm going to hang my hummingbird feeder on it, get some climbing vines, perhaps trumpet vine, Virginia creeper, or even morning glory, and sit back and enjoy it.

Isn't it amazing what can make one happy?

Manon ("Mrs. Van" to most) is the founder & executive director of Ohio Nature Education (ONE), a private non-profit environmental education organization that provides homes for permanently injured and non-releasable wild animals. Mrs. Van lives in Johnstown, Ohio with her husband, Jim, and two daughters, Tara and Fallon. Says Mrs. Van, "I just want to teach people how awesome nature is."