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Author Topic: It's not all about food plots in some cases  (Read 1452 times)

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Offline Big E

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 Maybe you don't need more food on your property but you need cover for your property. The best woods is not a beautiful mature forest. It's a nast narley young woods the wildlife like. I don't care where the deer is at 2 a.m. I want them on my property at 2 p.m. Hope you all are aware that the DNR offers seedling trees for cheap that are great for improving your properties for wildlife. They have it all from fruit trees and shrubs to oaks and pines.
 The last 2 yrs we've been buying trees from the DNR and other nurseries. We've planted over 2,000 trees last yr and will be doing about 1,500 more this yr. We put in plum, white and black spruce, Apple trees and white, Red and Jack pine last yr. This yr we are planting White pine, Plum, Jack pine, Norway spruce, Hybrid Willow, Hybrid Poplar, Red Osier Dogwood, Elderberry, hawthorne and more apple trees.

Dogwood- Red Osier is probably the most popular. Look in the ditches or in a lot of cases your neighbor's yard. It is fire engine Red this time of yr and a lot of people use it in landscaping. It's a small shrub/tree that produces white berries in the fall. You can find this by swamps along the roads. It grows in wet to dry soils but thrives in swamps and along streams and the deer love it. Grouse eat the fruit it provides also. They sucker from the roots and branches and make awesome cover in a short amount of time. You can go and clip them now and make cuttings from these. Just clip off a 10" branch and stick it in the ground. It will grow as long as at least 2 sets of buds are under the ground and only 1 set is above ground. Don't worry about killing the existing plant. You could cut it off at the base and it will only grow back thicker and bigger. (you can do this with many other shrubs and trees like willow, Elderberry and poplar.) Now is the time to get out and get cuttings. Hey it's free and it will get you out in the woods.

PLUMS are great for cover. They make awesome thicket bedding areas for deer. They sucker from the roots and grow fast. Grouse, Turkey, pheasants and Rabbits will love these thickets  too. The fruit they provide is just a bonus to what they already are doing for your property.

Pines and Spruce trees make great cover for all wildlife and screens from roads or property line hunters. In the winter a conifer stand is on average 2 degrees warmer and if you factor in windchill it's more. When it comes to surviving a MN winter these help the deer a lot. They will grow and thrive where most trees won't. Faster growing pines like the white pine and the norway spruce are great trees that you don't have to wait long for them to make a difference. Norway Spruce can be ordered through the Itasca Nursery in Cohasset, MN.

Apple trees....goes without saying what these can do for you. The mistake that a lot of people do is they don't prune their apple trees. You want to keep one leader on the top of the tree and keep every branch clipped about 10 to 12 inches from the top. The tree will grow faster and produce quicker. Apple trees are suicidal and want to become a shrub. Keeping them pruned until you get the height you want prevents this. Also prune off all the sucker branches that are growing straight up. You want horizontal branches. Sand is the best mulch you can use for apple trees. Mice and moles tend to not burrow under it. Watch out for ants under any tree wrap you use. They can kill a tree in short order.
Let the small bucks walk. Don't assume the neighbors will shoot them if you don't. If you shoot him what chance does that buck have to grow......ZERO!