When we decided to plant trees for wildlife management, I quickly realized that I was not a tree expert. I have a very good friend in Upshur County named Kollin Hurt that knows a lot about the forestry business. I decided to reach out to him to see if he could possibly help. He said he puts plans together all the time for recreational and Bureau Land Management areas. I told him that I wanted to plant trees that were beneficial to Wildlife and he gladly agreed to put a plan together before I started planting.
Before you start planting or buying trees, I highly recommend that you talk with your county extension agency and have them put you in touch with a forestry expert. Chances are, there is somebody willing to help you put a plan together.
I planted a wide variety of 20 different species of oaks that Kollin recommended. Overall, there was probably about 40,000 oak trees planted. They ranged from red oak, white oak, water oak, crab apple, and even dogwood trees. Another species was the saw tooth goobler and saw tooth oak. Those seem to be growing the best. They put off small acorns within the first couple of years. If you have turkey in your area, they will really like this acorn. One really good thing about oaks is that some of the species will put off acorns earlier in the year than others so the wildlife always have food.
We also planted a lot of pine trees – about 10,000 to be exact. Since deer don’t eat pine, you might be wondering why I planted so many.
Deer like to bed in the pine trees because there are less bugs and it stays dry. While you don’t want a lot of pine trees in one area, the pine needles definitely help to give the deer somewhere to bed. The con to pine trees is that as they as they grow, the dense overhead cover and pine needle cover will reduce natural growth on the forest floor.
Hopefully you have enjoyed watching the video and reading this blog. In my opinion, a good deer is the by-product of good management. Next week I’ll cover the history of Chestnut Trees and why I planted them.