Removing a Tree? Consider Creating a Nurse Log!

While we don’t typically associate trees with hospitals, an arborist is, above all, a tree surgeon, and what is a surgeon without a nurse? Much like wildlife snags, nurse logs further prove that trees are of a great benefit to us, even after they have deceased.


Nurse logs are downed trees that are left in place to decompose and provide habitat for animals and saplings. The health of a forest depends on these nurse logs as they decay into a nitrogen-rich organic matter known as humus, which is perfect for for all sorts of life, from mosses, to lichen, and even fungi.


Here in the Pacific Northwest nurse logs are especially prevalent, since our temperate climate and frequent rainfall both contribute to a high rate of decay. While they are typically found in the forest, this isn’t to say you can’t have your very own nurse log in your backyard.


Next time you need a tree removed consider turning it into a nurse log! They will make a valuable addition to any garden or planting space, providing a pathway for new life or a just a comfortable place to sit.

Interested in seeing a nurse log? Head on down to the Olympic Sculpture Park! At the corner of Elliot Ave and Broad Street is Neukom Vivarium, a living sculpture and art installation of a 60 foot nurse log, complete with its own greenhouse! To find out more about the log, click here.



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