How to create a log pile

Rotting wood provides food and shelter for many animals.

Log pile replicates a forest floor ecosystem. It creates the cool, moist and shady conditions for many ground-dwelling animals such as insects, snails and centipedes. If the log pile is close to a pond or a stream, it also attracts water-loving creatures such as frogs and toads.

Aside from being a shelter, log pile also provides food for animals. The dead, woody materials are food source of decomposers such as termites and fungi. Larger predatory animals such as birds feed on insects that live inside the log pile.

Choose a quiet, undisturbed part of the garden to create a log pile. It can be a corner of garden or back of a border. Make sure the log pile receives enough shade and moisture.

Dig out a sunken space to bury the logs. You can start by placing some upright logs under the soil. Also, pave the base with dry leaves as they create comfortable hiding places for animals such as frogs.

Dig a shallow hole to place the logs
Dry leaves help to regulate humidity of log pile

Next, stack large logs towards the center, with smaller ones and tree branches on top and around sides. Try to have at least 3 to 4 layers of logs. Add some leaf litter, dry grasses or soil to facilitate the formation of microhabitat.

The multi-layered log pile

It is up to you whether to stack the logs up neatly or randomly. Try to leave gaps of different sizes between the logs so that animals can find ideal spaces to rest or lay eggs.

Animals will live in the gaps between the logs.

After the log pile is established, leave it and make observation from time to time. You can water the log pile if it looks dry. Try to avoid human intervention so that decomposition and other natural processes can take place.

Continue adding logs to the log pile as the wood gradually rots down. That way you will have a range of wood types, from fresh, denser wood at the top to brittle, partially decomposed wood towards the bottom. Use natural, unprocessed wood. It is best to use logs from native species.

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.