I know you may have seen a rabbit in your yard dart suddenly away when you pull up in your driveway at dusk. But where did he go? Chances are the skittish bundle of energy escaped into a nearby den of tangled underbrush. You can create this kind of habitat – or “rabbitat” – by building brush piles from discarded Christmas trees.
Shelter…that’s exactly what brush piles provide for rabbits, chipmunks, birds and more. Large brush piles can serve as den and nest sites as well. Brush piles have two basic components – a base and a brushy top. The base raises the brush pile off the ground and creates tunnels for dens, nests and escape routes. The brushy top protects this space from predators. Good base materials include logs, stumps, fence posts, rocks and manmade pipes. Build upon the base with your Christmas tree, and add your neighbor’s tree to it as well. The Christmas trees will form the brushy top needed to protect the rabbits and other wildlife from predators.
Place the brush pile on a vacant lot, or at the edge of your yard. It is important to note that brush piles are excellent ways to attract and support wildlife in your yard or neighborhood, so keep this in mind because what you call a “bunny” your neighbor may call “rabbit stew.”
This article is a publication of Clemson University Cooperative Extension's Forestry & Natural Resources team.
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