Thickest, Nastiest Cover to Plant

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by greatwhitehunter3, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    If you had a blank slate to start with, what would be your go to planting to get the thickest possible cover for a sanctuary. Can be anywhere from 1-4 acres or so. Only time a guy would go in there is once in early spring for sheds.

    Background for the area I'm thinking;

    Currently pasture land
    Pretty steep (in relation to surrounding area) hillside - E/SE facing
    Valley to the east
    Pond 200 yards south
    Creek 400 yards north
    Ag fields to the east and west


    Thinking some type of cedar/pine/bush either scattered or in rows surrounded by switch grass.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. No.6Hunter

    No.6Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I am a big fan of conifers but they aren't the best for immediate cover. Adding the switch grass or some miscanthus could help thicken it up for a few years until the conifers fill out. This is my plan for rolling hills on our property, plant 50 or so "pines" in islands then fill them out with native grasses.
     
  3. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Hazel nut brush with deadfall and hinge cut trees mixed in as well as grapevine growing and intertwining with the hazel nut brush. I have about 10-12 acres of that I can send you transplants.;)
     
  4. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    I know some guys love cedars and some guys hate them because they spread so easily. That isn't something I would need to worry about because I can easily get to the area with tractor or skid steer and yank them out if they get to areas we don't want.

    My only question on them is are they good enough cover to warrant dealing with that problem?
     
  5. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Plant white cedar instead, you will have to protect the trees but white cedar provides shelter and browse.
     
  6. remmett70

    remmett70 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I would create a few clumps of trees, White Pines 1 in the middle with 4 or 5 circling it about 10-15' spacing. I'd also look at making small poplar stands, plant a group let the grow for a few years before planting some more mixed in giving different layers. also Cedars and arbor vitae can create some good cover after a few years.

    Than mix good food sources between and around it all. Mixing in a few apple trees can never hurt either.
     
  7. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    Deer slam white cedar...
    Maybe that with switch grass and some clover-planted lanes twisting through the thick stuff? Get the deer coming in and feeling safe for a couple seasons then let those grow in natural also.

    Just don't let tag alders/briars take hold...God that stuff is nasty.
     
  8. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    arbor vitae same family as white cedar, deer will browse it.
     
  9. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    What size white cedar does a guy want to buy? I see it looks like a guy can get 3"-4'.
     
  10. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    Some good ideas above. I'd also think about some hinge cutting if you have some surrounding woods to also encourage cover and aid with some more predictable travel corridors
     
  11. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Taller the better I guess, like mentioned check out arbor vitae too may be cheaper and more readily available.
     
  12. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    All surrounded by pasture and ag fields so it'll all be started from nothing. Thought about doing cottonwood or a hybrid willow that grow fast and then either let mother nature tip them over or hinge them at some point. Not sure how well either of those hinge but I would think for this situation, pretty good.
     
  13. Ky Bob

    Ky Bob Die Hard Bowhunter

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    What about Blackberry bushes? They would provide cover and food.
     
  14. Rangerdan

    Rangerdan Weekend Warrior

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    Egyptian Wheat if you're looking for a quick fix
     
  15. WELDO

    WELDO Weekend Warrior

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    I would also include native weeds and grasses in a mix. Deer like to eat both ;)
     
  16. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    If you do any conservation burns for switch grass or native tall grasses, you're gonna eliminate any trees you plant if you're not extremely careful. Personally I wouldn't worry about planting trees, switchgrass should do what you need and if you ever decide to do something else with it, it's pretty easy to convert back. I wouldn't make the mistake of saying "oh that'll never happen" because it does happen.

    If you're going to do trees, I'd use something that's also a food source and plant a block in the middle of the switch. I don't know if Persimmons go that far north. White cedar may be okay but I hate all cedars at this point. I'd prefer mast producing trees for food. Switch will provide the immediate cover (considering establishment times).

    I don't know how big this area is but I'd consider placing a food plot right in the middle, about three acres worth and plant it in egyptian wheat and clover or alfalfa. Ring it with the EW, plant the legumes in the middle.
     
  17. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far everyone.
     
  18. chieffan

    chieffan Weekend Warrior

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    The Hybred Willows are a fast growing tree. After about 15 years you won't to worry about hinge over, they will do that on their own. Check with your state Forestry Department, they may have some ideas and be able to help you out cost wise also.
     
  19. Gator Dale

    Gator Dale Weekend Warrior

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    I'd u want nasty I'll let u have some of this multi flower rose and honey suckle. U won't want to be in it and they love to bed in it for sure I've been thinning it out for years. Lol
     
  20. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Ty,

    Have you used RWWP Switch Grass yet or do you plan to now that you're teamed up with them?


    Or has anyone else used it before?
     

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