Today I'm going to deliver a lecture at the university in Alnarp about the benefit of dead trees in parks and gardens. Nowadays most people normally appreciate their trees more for staying alive rather than turning old, unhealthy and eventually dead for some strange reasons.
However for the biodiversity in your garden dead trees or very old and half passed away trees are even more important. There are for instance only about 30 different species of beetles depending on still living Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) for their survival, but more than 300 species need dead pines to complete their life cycles, and more than 500 different species of beetles are living on dead oak trees (Quercus robur). Dead trees are thus actually more important in your garden, at least for insects and other invertebrates.
How can we then involve more of dead wood in the garden design in a natural and pleasant way? Well, here are some pictures from a patio I made in Gothenburg for an exhibition some years ago. A lot of dead branches and stumps are placed among the plants and in my opinion the planting looks even more naturally untidy and very beautiful with all the mosses growing on the dead wood. The planting was made just some few weeks before I took the photos, but still it already looked rather settled.
The wood is dead! Long live the dead wood in your garden! Don't you agree? The insects certainly do.