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Do we remove huge Conifer Trees for wildlife hedge/trees??

We have about 10 conifer trees (planted too closely) that are planted across the back of our new garden along the fence line (thats 10 metres). They are enormous, they come out 5 metres into the garden. It is very open underneath them. They are around 10 metres tall. 

Do these provide much in the way of wildlife habitat? We are thinking of removing them and planting more 'wildlife friendly' hedging, and a couple of other trees. But I wasn't sure what to plant or whether these may provide shelter to wildlife? 

I really need some space back for a greenhouse so also thinking if I remove them it would give us some space even with adding new hedging...

Anyway sorry for the long post, basically, will I be destroying a valuable wildlife habitat removing them? And what could be put in their place if they are removed (thats good for wildlife but also provides some height in places to shield neighbours)?? 

Thanks so much!

  • The RSPB have an article about hedges and what to plant and attraction etc.
    Here is the webpage, it's worth a look

    Richard B

  • And here is a similar article from The Wildlife Trust

    Richard B

  • I would say they are Leylandii which are pretty poor for wildlife. I would not hesitate removing them when covenient. Get the tree surgeon to leave a pile or two of some of the cut logs and chippings of different sizes in a quiet sunny spot for beetles to live in.

    8 years ago I removed spindly bits of our front privet hedge and replanted with wildlife shrubs in  batches of 3, so 3 holly, 3 hazel, 3 hawthorn, etc.

    I then  planted some trees & shrubs  in front if that - silver birch, crab apple, bird cherry, with wildflowers in between.

    Its been great watching more and more wildlife appear over the years such as sparrowhawk, fox, bullfinch, & fritillary butterflies.

  • It won't cost anything to get a tree surgeon to come take a look. If they are Leylandii then you don't need to feel guilty about removing and replacing with shrubs and trees that have far more wildlife value, both in food and habitat. Just one word waning - the soil will be very poor and robbed out. I had to do a lot of soil improvement when we took our out and before putting in a beech hedge.

    Cin J

  • Hi

    you can't go wrong with a sycamore or some hawthorn, crab apple and broom


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