U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center



Date of this Version

August 2007


Published by USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC), East Campus – UNL, Lincoln, NE 68583-0822. Website http://www.unl.edu/nac


Sustaining quality wildlife habitat is challenging, especially where agricultural fields offer little plant diversity and in suburban areas where human development has fragmented the landscape.

Increasingly, these areas are managed primarily for people. But, an amazing variety of animals call the same areas home and depend on us to make sure that their needs are met.

Working Trees are trees and shrubs, especially native species, that are in the right place to do a specific job. Whether Working Trees come in the form of a windbreak to enhance crop or livestock production or a riparian forest buffer to filter storm water runoff, they add critical wildlife habitat to the landscape.

The benefits of Working Trees extend far beyond providing food, cover, and nesting sites – all essential wildlife habitat components. Working Trees add diversity and help reconnect the landscape by creating travel corridors for wildlife. But, remember, not all wildlife species are benefited by trees.

Integrating Working Trees onto the land can add a new source of income, improve our environment, conserve natural resources, increase property values, and save time, energy, and water.

Read on to discover how Working Trees support a seemingly endless variety of wildlife, while they enhance property, income, and our lives.