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Reforestation by planting cuttings
I have about 4-5 acres of alfalfa that is going back to cover. I researched way to reforest it and came across hybrid willow and poplar cuttings. Anybody used these? Sounds easy. I also found out that various shrubs can be propogated by cuttings. Any input?
I've done hybrid poplar cuttings...they are easy to "plant" and grow fast. They tend to loose their leaves early so don't provide much mid - late season cover here in MN. I like to plant them in between (trees) planted white spruce or eastern red cedar that provides much thicker and better long term bedding cover...especially when switch, indian and or big bluestem is seeded around the newly planted trees.
I would think willow (especially in lower areas) would take equally well.
DON'T plant hybrid popple, you'll regret it. Yes, they grow fast but that's their only good attribute. You'll probably outlive them, they are very weak and prone to wind damage, they do not offer much cover. There's much better options.
Plant a mix variety of hard and soft mast, the wait for fruiting will well be worth it. I’m in year 40 now of planting and have planted over4000 trees on just 7 acres. I’ve thinned considerably as the trees got taller. There are also over 50 species of trees. Do not plant any of those poplars, they are fast growing, not good for anything, and are short lived. Look into some of those dunstan chestnuts.
Thanks for the input guys. Mark, I'm planning on putting in some red cedars also as they do well on my poor soil.
Have you looked into direct seeding of hardwoods? We did 25 acres 14 years ago and have trees 15-20' tall!!
JEG where did you get hardwood seeds?