When I first got started managing part of the ranch for wildlife, there weren’t many trees. Most of the ranch was designated for cattle so it was open pasture. Now that we are managing the ranch for both cattle and wildlife, I’ve planted about 60 acres of trees to provide the cover that wildlife need.
The 60 acres worth of trees isn’t in just one area, it is spread out in travel corridors across the ranch. Corridors are usually around water, creek beds or just places that are hard to mow around. In the map to the right, I have outlined one area around Deer Pond that I have planted trees.
Starting in January of 2014, my goal was to try and influence the use of corridors from food plot to food plot near the 3 Ingredients: Food, Cover and Water. With the help of the ranch hands and my boys, we planted about 30,000 trees!
Needless to say I’m doing everything I possibly can to encourage wildlife to stay on the ranch for years to come.
So what did I plant? Well, I didn’t plant just one species because there’s not a magic species that works for all wildlife. I decided to try a few different varieties such as chestnut, oak, hardwood and fruit trees. Each species provides a different benefit which I’ll dive into over the next month.
I hope you have enjoyed this Overview of Tree Planting. This is the first blog in a 5 part series covering trees. Next week we will focus on chestnuts and the role they play in wildlife management.