|Fall 2017 Issue - Cover Image|
Many times the most revealing habitat management advice comes from someone who is visiting your property, inadvertently providing a fresh look at current conditions on the ground. In the big picture, the rural landscape in the Southeast is changing, with a distinctive lean towards pine plantations, sometimes including hardwood conversion. Planting a hardwood tree plot makes a commitment toward a long-term annual mast crop, and creates some piece of mind that game animals seeking hardwood shelter won’t pass over your habitat.
Why plant trees when the proverbial low-hanging fruit would be more traditional agricultural plantings? That is a tough question to answer and from my point of view the answer came after years of tweaking management plans. I have shared with Gamekeepers before that a trial and error should play out in whatever you are managing for, as it’s a surefire method to find out what works and what doesn’t work.
|Seedlings I started out in planting pots|
Having experimented in the past with random hardwood plantings in woodland areas where I thought they would look nice, I found out the hard way that the soil must have include a certain level of moisture content, or else you invite failure. So the first step to identifying a good area for a tree plot might be to work adjacent to or inside a hardwood bottomland area. Many counties offer GIS mapping references online now, and simply clicking on the topography link allows you to view a historical depiction of these areas on your property.
|Always advocating for hardwoods!|
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