Mounting nest boxes in live trees - an idea

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Stan Bolden's picture
Mounting nest boxes in live trees - an idea

Hi folks,

I'm new to the forum, so my post may have been discussed already?

I've mounted dozens of nest boxes using "method 1" (wire through garden hose over a lateral branch). I am concerned that using "method 2" (backboard with roofing screws into tree) doesn't allow for tree growth which i'd expect would force the box off the screws?

I've tried an alternative using 250mm lengths of concrete reinforcing rod driven into the tree (pre-drilled holes) at a slight angle up so the backboard slips down on them. This allows the tree circumference to expand and push the box back along the rods. My guess is 200mm is 40+ years of (radial) growth for most trees; a good life for a nest box.

Any thoughts about these ideas and/or alternative mounting system?

Thanks in expectation, Stan.

sue818's picture

Hi Stan,

wish I could help answer your question.  I'll try asking someone else to check it out for you


Holly's picture

Hey Stan - did you pop me an email about this? Its a great idea. As I said in my email - the method was best practice a couple of years back when the designs were created. The idea is that the box needs to be maintained anyway so they can be removed and repositioned to account for growth.
Really interested though to see how your boxes go!


Woko's picture

Hi there a. It's great you're concerned about providing nesting hollows for native birds since so many breeding places have been destroyed. My only concern would be potential damage to the tree(s). There are a few old signs advertising horse poo hammered into roadside trees near me but I haven't seen any damage to trees yet. And I haven't read anything about nest boxes set up by drilling into trees. The only thing I've seen that comes close is chainsawing parts of living trees to provide nesting habitat for Swift Parrots in Tasmania. This was a year or two ago. I haven't read of any long term effects on the trees. Hopefully, Swift Parrots are being saved from extinction. 

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