Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What can I do or plant to thicken my woods? We have planted 1500 pines and spruce over the last 4 years and 90% have died. I have some oak ridges and some beaver damaged areas that are very open. We have put in a lot of time and money to develope food plots with good success but would love to develope more cover in the surrounding areas.

All suggestions are welcome.:help:

Thanks, Marco
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
I recommend purchasing the book "Grow Em Right" by Craig and Neil Dougherty. They can tell you many things you can do to make your property more attractive to deer. By the way, where is your property located?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm located in Farwell. We did a select cut 15 years ago. Cut all of the soft wood off. Its in the hard woods which are mostly oaks that are open.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
If you don't have sunlight hitting the ground, it will be difficult for most species to grow very well. When you planted your pines and spruces, did you spray for weeds? Did you plant them in a field or in the woods? On our property in Hillsdale county, we sprayed the weeds every year till the evergreens were about 3-4 feet tall. Otherwise the weeds would have smothered the young trees. Perhaps you need to thin out your woods. If the treetops are touching your oaks could be too close together in which case, they should be thinned out. Also if the tops of the oaks(crowns) are touching, your acorn production will not reach it's maximum potential. Another thing you may want to consider is planting shrubs. We spray or disc the areas where shrubs will be planted. That way they get off to a good start. Autumn olive will grow well but they spread in some areas, especially on drier soils. We haven't had that problem on our land.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How easy is Autumn Olive to establish? No we didn't spray b4 planting. We plant in April during the annual tree sale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Of all the trees and shrubs we've planted(over 15,000), autumn olive was the easiest to establish as long as you don't plant it on a wet site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,626 Posts
Yep, AO is very, very easy to establish. We planted 400 last year around our food plot borders and in fence rows to thicken them up. As far as I can tell, there hasn't been any die off
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok maybe Autumn Olive is my best bet. What is the best and easiest way to plant? I take it I don't need 1000 like we did with the spruce? Do deer eat them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
We planted autumn olive with a planting bar. The deer haven't browsed our autumn olive. We planted ours in rows at about 4 feet apart. The branches become innertwined over the years. We planted them in several different spots. Some of them surround food plots and some serve as lead in cover to the food plots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Will the ferns take them over when they are young? The thing is I don't have time to go up there and spray around them once the ferns come up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
They certainly won't grow as well if you have lots of ferns. If they're shaded out, they won't grow nearly as fast. If they're heavily shaded, I would expect some losses. Weed control is an important part of trying to establish small trees and shrubs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Cold Stream Farm might have them. If you do a web search, you should be able to find their web page and phone number.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Iv'e always planted my shrubs in the spring. I'm not sure if they're available in the fall.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top