At this time of year especially, charities are asking people to think about the chilling weather, bare trees and what this means for our woodland friends. The Pear tree and its fruit make a great habitat for all sorts of wildlife.
In spring, the tree’s flowers are a sweet source of nutrients for honeybees, solitary bees and bumblebees. Providing our insects with nectar, pollen and a great start to the season. Through summer to autumn, as the season’s fruit falls, the pear is a valuable means of grub for birds like the thrush and blackbird.
All year round, the trees foliage is enjoyed by caterpillars, assisting them in their transition to moths and butterflies. Moving along the food chain, moths are a great source of food for bats.
Project Development Officer for the Butterfly Conservation, Kate Merry, explains: “Pears and other fruit trees are fantastic feeding stations for our butterflies and moths. The caterpillars of a number of moths such as the Dark Arches and Vapourer moths feed on the foliage. In the autumn, Red Admiral butterflies can be seen drinking the juices from the fallen fermenting fruit.”
The RSPB is encouraging people to start thinking about planting pear trees now, to benefit the future generations of our garden life. A diverse garden of trees, flowers and shrubs is a sustainable way of providing a variety of benefits for all kinds of creatures for years to come.
The best time to plant trees and shrubs is now. Bare rooted trees, rather than those in pots, are the cheapest and best planted before the end of December. If you only have a small garden, train it along a wall – the wildlife will benefit, no matter what the shape.