Native trees are much better than non-native trees for attracting wildlife to your garden. This is because native trees house a wider variety of invertebrates, which in turn attract mammals and birds. Trees with lots of interesting features such as dead branches, splits, and hollows support the widest range of invertebrates, so try not to ‘tidy up’ trees unless they are unsafe.
Different trees will attract different species. Acorns from oak trees will attract squirrels, jays and woodpigeons. Cones from alder trees attract goldfinches. Dense trees such as yew and holly provide good habitat for greenfinches. Beech trees attract tits and chaffinches, but few insects. Berries from rowan and ash will attract many bird species. Willow trees host more than 90 species of moth caterpillar, which in turn will attract bats. Birch trees attract many species of birds, insects and caterpillars. Treecreepers nest in large, mature trees with loose bark, while hollow branches provide perfect habitat for tawny owls.