Acorns don’t fall far from the tree. Nor do seeds of Delaware’s native fruiting trees and shrubs. If nature is allowed to take its course, the seeds of trees like red maple and sweetgum get carried with the wind until landing and settling in for the long-term. But acorns and fruit seeds depend upon wildlife to move them to new locations such as abandoned farm fields.
In technical terms, the process is called “succession.” However, many of our disappearing species don’t have time to wait for former farm fields to transform into native trees and shrubs mature enough to provide food and shelter. Planting habitat islands accelerates this process. Once in place, these “instant habitats” attract the small mammals and birds that continue the process of succession by spreading native seeds in flight and through droppings.