New Study Finds Benefits to Leaving Bushy Areas Untouched

Uncategorized By Jun 01, 2023

Leaving bushy areas untouched can provide numerous benefits for the environment and wildlife, according to a new study in the journal Biological Conservation. Researchers found that an undisturbed strip of vegetation in a Melbourne residential area provided a habitat for threatened bird species. Leaving certain areas natural can also help control soil erosion, as plant roots stabilise soil, and improve air quality, as plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants. This reduces the need for chemical pesticides and fertilisers, as natural predators thrive. Invading species and those that pose a risk to human health should still be removed or trimmed.

New Study Finds Benefits to Leaving Bushy Areas Untouched

It’s easy to think that a well-manicured lawn or perfectly trimmed hedges are the key to a beautiful yard. However, a new study published in the journal Biological Conservation suggests that leaving certain bushy areas untouched can actually provide numerous benefits to both the environment and wildlife.

The study focused on analyzing the effects of leaving a strip of native, unmanaged shrubs in a residential area of Melbourne, Australia. Researchers found that this undisturbed strip of vegetation actually provided habitat for a variety of bird species, including several threatened species.

In addition to providing habitat for wildlife, leaving bushy areas untouched can also help to control soil erosion and improve air quality. The roots of plants and shrubs help to stabilize soil, preventing erosion caused by weather events such as heavy rain. Furthermore, plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air, resulting in cleaner air for nearby residents.

Another benefit of leaving bushy areas untouched is that it can reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. By allowing natural vegetation to flourish, insects and other wildlife that help control pests can also thrive, reducing the need for harmful chemicals.

It’s important to note that not all bushy areas should be left completely unmanaged. Invasive species and those that pose a risk to human health should be removed or trimmed as necessary. However, strategically leaving natural habitat can provide numerous benefits for both the environment and local wildlife.


Q: Will leaving bushy areas untouched attract pests?
A: While untreated areas can attract some pests, the presence of natural predators and competitors can help control populations. In addition, some pests that may be attracted are beneficial to the environment, such as pollinators and insect-eating birds.

Q: How can I tell if a bushy area should be left untouched?
A: It’s important to consult with a professional arborist or landscaper to determine which areas should be left as natural habitat. Areas that support native species and provide beneficial ecosystem services are typically good candidates for preservation.

Q: Will leaving some areas untouched increase the risk of wildfires?
A: If the area is prone to wildfires, it’s important to implement a management plan that takes into account fire risk. This may involve clearing dry vegetation or installing fire-resistant plants. However, leaving some natural habitat can also provide a buffer zone that can help slow or stop the spread of wildfires.

Q: Won’t leaving some areas untouched make my yard look messy?
A: While natural habitat may not have the same tidy appearance as a manicured lawn or hedge, it can be incorporated into a landscape design in a way that adds aesthetic appeal. Additionally, the benefits to the environment and wildlife can outweigh any visual concerns.