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Thoughts - Suggestions

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Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby BDS05 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:56 pm

As the season nears an end, I have big hopes and of course dreams for next season. This of course comes with a price tag. I need to build a budget and a plan for next year and the following. I'm not educated near enough to tackle this without your support.
I'm working with 100 acres in Hickman county. If I can make this place work out and the budget comes lower than expected (yeah right..) then there's an adjoining 400 acres to play with.
It was all select cut seven years ago for timber, not wildlife. On the 100 acres for now:
1) I want to kill a BUNCH of immature beech. My thought is chainsaw and spray with poison / dye mixture to keep up with what I've sprayed. This in return will help the oaks and hickory and increase some visibility on a few hills (just my thoughts again).
2) There is one very small clearing that has 20 yards X 100 yards of trees bordering a creek. I want to clear these trees where the clearing goes all the way to the creek. This will become a food plot. I intened on adding some berry bushes along the creek here.
3) There's an 8 acre field, 4 acre field and 2 acre field (rough estimates). Somewhere throught these, I intend on adding multiple fruit and possibly a couple nut trees.
4 ) These fields are in poor condition and currently cut for hay (cattle). They're over run with Johnson Grass and weeds. We don't have a tractor but will have access to one if needed to plant some things that benefit the cattle and hay. I plan on getting a wick attachment for the fourwheeler to begin attacking the Johnson Grass.
5) With the woods left, I want to add some persimmon and whatever else you all suggest.
The 100 acres is hopefully in my family beyond my lifetime. Are there specifically any trees you wish you would've planted sooner to benefit generations and/wildlife to come?
For my intended purposes, what would you suggest and where would you suggest purchasing from?
Again this is the beginning stage to me. This is all new.
1 - what poison and dye?
2 - what variety of bushes?
3 - what fruit and nut trees? Best place to purchase?
4 - what blend will benefit cattle and wildlife in a hay field? (This will of course be run across the cattle farmer)
5 - any blend of persimmons or certain nut trees you're fond of?
Deer are my main focus but I want this to attract and benefit ALL wildlife.

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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby DoubleRidge » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:42 pm

Hack-n-squirt is one technic you can use on the beech saplings. You can do this process yourself but 100 acres will be quite the task. There are several different herbicides that can be used for hack and squirt tree killing. Some of these include glyphosate (Roundp), triclopyr (Garlon), imazapyr (Arsenal), etc. They range in price from cheap glyphosate to more pricey imazapyr. However, it should be noted that while the price of imazapyr may seem expensive, it takes much less imazapyr by volume than glyphosate to kill trees, making it quite cost effective....there is information that can you can read online that will walk you through step by step. Also the timing of the application is important to get a good kill. As you already know....removing the less desirable trees will benifit your mast production and allowing sunlight to the forest floor will create alot of secondary growth that will also benifit wildlife.

For your food plots...pull soil samples....don't skip lime recommendation.... without having the pH correct your fertilizer will likely be wasted money....if you skip anything dont skip on lime.

For planting trees...I admire your long range vision....I'd like to plant some variety of trees myself ...I've planted a few....but do not have enough experience to pass on so hopefully others will chime in on the topic.

One last thing I'll throw in is don't get discouraged on this journey your beginning....it's going to take time....there will be times you'll see progress....and times you'll feel like your never gonna get there.

Habitat improvements and land management in general can be very rewarding especially when you see the variety of wildlife that benifits.

Alot of good information to research online....check out Growing Deer TV, QDMA, UT ag extension and the list goes on and on.....alot of good material out there....pick what works for your budget and go from there.

Good luck on the journey! .....(warning: working on habitat improvements can be addicting)
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby treefarmer » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:47 am

A backpack sprayer with basal bark herbicide and oil work well on thin skinned trees like beech - maybe up to 4" or 6"? Co-op likely sells the generic version of what you're looking for. I've had good success buying bare root trees and shrubs from the State Nursery in Delano (shipped free to your county). planttntrees.org will take you to their website (order early, they sell out of most). I've had great luck with their Persimmon, Shortleaf Pine and Beauty Berry shrubs. I've tried a number of other trees and shrubs but my soils just don't work for them. Southern Crabapple and hybrid chestnut might be good for you. Contact your TN Div. of Forestry "Area Forester" Christy Gearhiser at 931-796-4313 who works out of Hohenwald. Christy can give you a free walk on your property and give you suggestions on herbicide, what trees to keep and kill to meet your objectives. My hour spent with the Area Forester was the best thing I did and gave me a path to success in Humphreys County.
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby Boll Weevil » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:59 pm

Agree w/treefarmer on basal spraying thin-barked trees like beech. 1 part Garlon 4 (ester) and 4 parts diesel as the carrier/penetrant and paint the bottom several inches of each stem. Treated now, they won't even break bud/leaf out this spring.
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby DoubleRidge » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:20 pm

Totally agree with contacting area forester...that's where we learned about hack-n-squirt. But we were focused on several different trees... ironwood, beech, gum, etc....we worked with Jonathan Boggs of Arbor Springs Forestry in Burns TN....great to work with.
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby BDS05 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:26 pm

I will be contacting Christy Gearhiser in the next couple weeks to certainly set something up. I will of course do more research off TnDeer before pulling the trigger on anything but:
Killing trees -
Basal spraying (?); is there a certain time and/or condition for this? If I wanted immediate results for visibility, could I cut the tree above treated area?
HackNSquirt - What conditions have you found to be best for this method? If I wanted immediate results for visibility, could I cut the tree above treated area?
I'm not immediately killing off 100 acres but instead I'll start off focusing on three hillsides within. These will be my primary focus and killing will be my first step in all of this. Long term, I'll kill throughout the property as time allows. The trees I'm focused on are mainly the size of your wrist right now. I'M WANTING THIS WORK TO BEGIN MID JAN. That's why I'm concerned about conditions for killing.

Fruits and nuts / Trees and shrubs - Are there any trees you wish you would've planted some odd years ago whether it be monetary for generations, sentimental or beneficial to wildlife? I'm not talking about an orchard.. maybe a few here and a few there... My initial thoughts were muscadine, blackberry, pear, apple, some form of oak(s) other than red and white, persimmon and maybe honeysuckle. The shrubs are a great idea that's not often mentioned (exactly what I'm looking for) that I haven't dug into but bring about another question...

Pollinators - Has anyone done anything specifically for this? Thoughts? After all, my intentions are to benefit all wildlife but the primary focus is deer.

Cattle hay / Food plot - Surely there's someone here who can recommend an idea that would benefit both parties... I will consult with the gentleman cutting our hay but am wanting suggestions.

Keep the ideas coming!



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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby MickThompson » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:48 pm

All forage grasses for cows are considered a weed in a food plot with the exception of cool season annual grains. Adding some clover can make a hay field a little better for wildlife that doesn’t constitute a food plot.
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby buckaroo » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:16 pm

I have planted couple hundred of apple , pear, chinese chestnuts are my favorite, cut around your oaks works great
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby DoubleRidge » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:52 pm

BDS05 wrote:I will be contacting Christy Gearhiser in the next couple weeks to certainly set something up. I will of course do more research off TnDeer before pulling the trigger on anything but:
Killing trees -
Basal spraying (?); is there a certain time and/or condition for this? If I wanted immediate results for visibility, could I cut the tree above treated area?
HackNSquirt - What conditions have you found to be best for this method? If I wanted immediate results for visibility, could I cut the tree above treated area?
I'm not immediately killing off 100 acres but instead I'll start off focusing on three hillsides within. These will be my primary focus and killing will be my first step in all of this. Long term, I'll kill throughout the property as time allows. The trees I'm focused on are mainly the size of your wrist right now. I'M WANTING THIS WORK TO BEGIN MID JAN. That's why I'm concerned about conditions for killing.

Fruits and nuts / Trees and shrubs - Are there any trees you wish you would've planted some odd years ago whether it be monetary for generations, sentimental or beneficial to wildlife? I'm not talking about an orchard.. maybe a few here and a few there... My initial thoughts were muscadine, blackberry, pear, apple, some form of oak(s) other than red and white, persimmon and maybe honeysuckle. The shrubs are a great idea that's not often mentioned (exactly what I'm looking for) that I haven't dug into but bring about another question...

Pollinators - Has anyone done anything specifically for this? Thoughts? After all, my intentions are to benefit all wildlife but the primary focus is deer.

Cattle hay / Food plot - Surely there's someone here who can recommend an idea that would benefit both parties... I will consult with the gentleman cutting our hay but am wanting suggestions.

Keep the ideas coming!

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If you want imediate visibility on those three hillsides and want to start in January then fire up the chainsaw....then use the basal spray or hack-n-squirt for the remainder of the property.....I understand the desire for visibility and quick results...but chemical treatment will reduce labor and you can cover more ground verses operating chainsaw......not sure about applying chemical then cutting above application....don't have any experience with that method?

Trees I wish I would have planted years ago: apple & chestnut....(thankfully we have plenty of persimmon, white & red oak).

Other than cost of seed....no harm in seeding pasture or portion of pasture with clover.....and I'm pretty certain the farmer will have no objection.

Hadn't done anything specific for pollinators but we do have several poplar trees on the place and my understanding is they are good for pollinators.
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby Boll Weevil » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:21 am

Basal spraying works anytime of the year...it’s basically chemical girdling. As mentioned above you can really cover some ground especially on the wrist sized trees you’re targeting. Here’s a photo of a hillside that was sprayed 2 years ago...extremely effective.

5BE0F2FC-BE63-40EB-94FE-9043551A58E4.jpeg
5BE0F2FC-BE63-40EB-94FE-9043551A58E4.jpeg (213.79 KiB) Viewed 649 times
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby JCDEERMAN » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:16 am

That is quite a task, but it is fun to tackle and see it all pay off. The most important thing is to figure out what your neighbors have and what they don't have. Put what they don't have on your property. Where in Hickman are you?

1) Hack N' Squirt info: https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/improving- ... ack-squirt . Glyphosate or Imazapyr. You can get the blue dye at co-op - It will get everywhere! But you can definitely tell where you sprayed
2) With a clearing of .41 acres, I would start out simple....maybe some winter wheat and some crimson clover. Those two will grow just about anywhere - and they will benefit you in the fall, as well as spring (deer and turkey)
3) We have a lot of peach, pear and plum trees that the deer really like. You will also see coyotes and raccoons. When everything ripens, it's a good time to take out a few predators.
4) For some of these fields, you may try frost-seeding some perennial clover over top of the grasses. If you could lightly disk in there and throw out some winter wheat, you'd have the cattle grass, and some candy for the deer. Not sure - I hate hunting with cattle period!
5) Can't go wrong with persimmons
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby Bushape » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:18 pm

As you may or may not already know Johnson grass is almost impossible to get rid of even after applying roundup. If at all possible I would be tempted to start with the smallest field to see of your plan can executed rather than trying one technique over all of your field. I would be tempted to try to burn, plow under, disc,spray herbicide, then drill seed. This may not fit into your budget but if the farmer would be willing to let you plant roundup ready soybeans you could provide a high protein attractant for deer (assuming your deer herd doesnt completely wipe it out), great hay for the farmer, and a forage that allows you to attack the Johnson grass for a longer term plan to get away from the soybeans if you see fit.
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby BDS05 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:11 pm

Research has all but slowed but I'm about to start digging deep. Holidays and Strep Throat have consumed all my time the last few days.

The 100 acres belongs to my father. The joint 400 acres belongs to my 2 cousins. That land has only 10 acres or so that are grazed on. None of the 100 I'm now interested in working are not grazed. All fields on this 500 acres are baled for 2nd cousins cattle.
Myself or my father don't have a tractor so letting him cut hay benefits him and us (though ours isn't much). I have access to BORROW tractors and implements but we all but refuse to do that. I feel like I may as well steal their wives. It just doesn't feel right. That's why I don't want a full blown food plot. What I don't have a problem with is borrowing equipment to benefit both wildlife for me and cattle for them so long as I dont need it every year to work the same ground.

I understand my fight against Johnson grass will be a long and tedious battle, but I'm ready. I've honestly not looked into burning as I've always assumed resources needed are more than I have. I'm not looking for the prettiest field, but instead one that is beneficial and at a manageable point.

I was tempted in discing all fields and mixing a couple grasses and some clover to benefit both parties but am having a hard time finding a grass to benefit both. I assume I can contact the UT Beef and AG Center for this? Without that, I'm torn between drilling or frost seeding clover. They had plans on renting a drill this spring apparently and welcomed me to use it.

Nonetheless, I have a pile of trees and shrubs to compile through and prioritize. The list keeps growing...

I'm wanting to pick someone's brain on planting stuff for pollinators if someone can point me in the right direction?

I've ran across Gobbler sawtooth which had a key point of turkey forage... any other ideas for turkey, rabbit, hopeful quail, etc... that have worked for you?

I am as of now going with basal. Still awaiting guidance from my area forester...

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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby BDS05 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:14 pm

buckaroo wrote:I have planted couple hundred of apple , pear, chinese chestnuts are my favorite, cut around your oaks works great
With that statement, if you planted 20 trees on a new property, what would YOU make those 10 trees?

Chinese vs Dunstan in your opinion?

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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby BDS05 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:14 pm

Boll Weevil wrote:Basal spraying works anytime of the year...it’s basically chemical girdling. As mentioned above you can really cover some ground especially on the wrist sized trees you’re targeting. Here’s a photo of a hillside that was sprayed 2 years ago...extremely effective.

5BE0F2FC-BE63-40EB-94FE-9043551A58E4.jpeg
That's EXACTLY what I'm looking to do. Thank you.

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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby BDS05 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:23 pm

JCDEERMAN wrote:That is quite a task, but it is fun to tackle and see it all pay off. The most important thing is to figure out what your neighbors have and what they don't have. Put what they don't have on your property. Where in Hickman are you?


The silverlining to this I know out of 600 acres there's only one 5 acre field of beans then wheat. An additional 240 acres surrounding, there's .5 acre at most I believe that consists of pumpkins and oats.

I'm in Pinewood... want to come dig some holes!?

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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby BDS05 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:25 pm

Bushape wrote:As you may or may not already know Johnson grass is almost impossible to get rid of even after applying roundup. If at all possible I would be tempted to start with the smallest field to see of your plan can executed rather than trying one technique over all of your field. I would be tempted to try to burn, plow under, disc,spray herbicide, then drill seed. This may not fit into your budget but if the farmer would be willing to let you plant roundup ready soybeans you could provide a high protein attractant for deer (assuming your deer herd doesnt completely wipe it out), great hay for the farmer, and a forage that allows you to attack the Johnson grass for a longer term plan to get away from the soybeans if you see fit.


Lol I've gathered this grass will be my nemesis.

I've contemplated bringing up this idea but have no hope our fields would withstand grazing...



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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby JCDEERMAN » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:59 am

BDS05 wrote:
JCDEERMAN wrote:That is quite a task, but it is fun to tackle and see it all pay off. The most important thing is to figure out what your neighbors have and what they don't have. Put what they don't have on your property. Where in Hickman are you?


The silverlining to this I know out of 600 acres there's only one 5 acre field of beans then wheat. An additional 240 acres surrounding, there's .5 acre at most I believe that consists of pumpkins and oats.

I'm in Pinewood... want to come dig some holes!?

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I gladly would if I didn't have 15 +/- acres to convert from hardwoods to soybean fields by the end of spring :shock: . My father-in-law keeps bugging me about going crappie fishing with him, but I have this huge project I'm trying to tackle before summer arrives :pray:

Our deer have never even smelled a soybean, as there have never been any planted for miles and miles from us. I am quite certain we will have a good majority of the deer in the neighborhood frequent our place, if we do things the proper way.

Add as much to your property you can that neighboring properties lack. We started off by planting a lot of fruit trees (41 that have survived over the years). Over time, we have realized that you won't HOLD deer on your property with just fruit trees and ample cover. We needed something creating more of an impact - more food, LOTS of it! Our goal is to go from 14 acres to close to 30 acres of nothing but greens and grains. That's our management goal
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby TNlandowner » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:11 pm

BDS05 wrote:
buckaroo wrote:
Chinese vs Dunstan in your opinion?

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I prefer Dunstan chestnuts.

I planted 15 Dunstan chestnut seedlings in NE Carroll County in 2013. Two of the trees had chestnuts in 2018. Four of the trees had chestnuts in 2019. I have 50 chestnuts in the refrigerator now for my next Dunstan project.

I also planted five Chinese Chestnut trees (potted & 6' tall) in 2013. None of these trees have produced chestnuts yet.

In fairness, I started the Dunstan chestnut trees from seed using the Rootmaker potting system in a homemade, heated green house (aka my shop) with plant growth lights in January. I then babied them until the next December, when I planted them on my farm. These trees were checked almost daily... The Chinese Chestnuts were nursery grown. I think you'll be happy either way.

For another tree idea: in 2009 I planted several hundred sawtooth & Nutall oaks (red oak family) in an old pasture. TN Dept of Forestry helped me with a reforestation cost share program. I had a contractor use a machine to plant the trees in one day! The sawtooths began producing acorns in 2018. They dropped a lot of acorns in 2019. One consideration is they dropped in September, but that helped draw a lot of deer to our farm. While the Nutall oaks are growing well, I do not know when they will begin producing acorns.
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Re: Thoughts - Suggestions

Postby buckaroo » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:08 am

It took my Chinese chestnuts 5 yrs to produce, I have no dunstan as I read that you should not cross pollinate, it may or may not be true. Pears are the easiest to grow, apples require a bit of maintenance but to me its worth it as I like them and one when I retire I hope to make a little income
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