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Food plot - edge cover
Looking to plant something along the edges of my food plots to screen the deer from being able to see through to them without having to enter the plots.
Anyone have success with planting Silky or Red Osier Dogwoods for this purpose or Hazelnut?
I would like to plant bushes around the edge, then a row of cedar trees and then maybe some white pines after that. Cedars take forever to grow and would like to get something bushy growing at a faster pace.
Any other suggestions? High Bush Cranberry maybe.
Deer will eat cedar. Make sure you pick something deer won't eat or you'll have to protect them all.
My guess is white pine would get eaten and if the cedar is white it will be eaten first. I would think switch grass is your best choice.
How big are your plots jackpine? I'm with Glunker on switch grass providing you get enough sun. Did you consider 8 rows of corn around the outside? I planted Balsam, fast growing and not really a deer delicacy.
1/2 acre down to 1/4 acre. 7 plots total. I was looking to get something brushy growing along the edges. Dogwood, Hazlenut, High Bush and then blend in some evergreens, etc. Young whitepines I can transplant from my own land to keep the cost down. I fence in 8 to 10 whitepines a year to keep the deer from eating the leader.
Right now the deer can stand 75 to 100 yards in the woods from the plots and see right into them through tree trunks, that is what I'm trying to fix. Have any luck with the bushes I mentioned? Trying to use the state program for ordering trees and bushes.
you could hing cut trees and get some immediate screening, some browse for a few years and limit the number of entries into the food plot. You could then plant brush (hazelnuts...) and they would have time to grow up.
Hinge cut a possibility? I planted hazelnut this spring for simular situation. Then hinge cut on top of them. So far they all lived with zero care. High deer density in that area and they haven't touched them. They claim that you'll have hazelnuts in 2 years. Anxious to see how thick they get. Cedars where usually gone in a month without protection same location. I plant a ton of white pine (3000 from dnr this spring ). Knock on wood but the deer never bother them.
Another possibility is Sorghum/Sudan Grass
i just ordered more red osier, and slikey dog wood again from the state program again. i would go with the red with a mix of switch grass unless you have the trees to hinge cut that will be your best way to go .
I have all of tushes you mentioned, including high bush cranberry. High bush cranberry is very fast growing. It also provides some food for the birds throughout winter, including grouse. Deer do not browse on it either....yet.
Mike, what are your hazelnut opinions? Do they really produced nuts in 2years as the order form suggests? Thick enough to make screening if planted in rows? Mine are to young to judge
We screened our plots with Egyptian wheat from Northwoods whitetail. It grew about 10' tall. It's an annual. I've heard good things about miscantus gigantus although I don't have any experience with it. I also plant Norway spruce.
Northbound - Yes the hazlenuts produced nuts, I don't recall if it was after 2 years, but last year there were very few, this year they were loaded and the nuts didn't ripen until early October. I think the amount of water they got this year made a difference. I have also been successful with taking the nuts, putting them in the refrigerator to stratify them and then planting them in pots to grow them. I keep them in pots in the yard for a little over a year before transplanting them. I have a beechnut tree that I am trying to do the same thing with this year. I like the bushes better than Egyptian wheat or any other annual. Once they are established you don't have to do anything.
Steve Bartylla talks about "feathering the edge" in his management articles. I think he hinge cuts then letting whatever grow up and the guy seams pretty sharp in his articles. I think I"m going to get one of his books this winter and try this next year.
Cheesehead Mike's Link
Try something like these screenings. They become a food source for late season and into winter.
Here's another option, developed just for that purpose
How about one of those wooden privacy fences like you see around salvage yards, but with a deer friendly sign that reads "Bucks Welcome!".