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#3337985 - 08/27/13 01:53 PM Sumac?
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1199
Loc: Hardeman

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To what extent do deer prefer sumac leaves and the little red fruit as browse? As I've reclaimed openings and edge this is one of the first varieties of successional vegetation. I know deer rub on it but not sure how much they eat it nor its nutritional value.

Anyone know?

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#3338015 - 08/27/13 02:18 PM Re: Sumac? [Re: Boll Weevil]
BlountArrow
10 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2539
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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A TWRA biologist that came to my property said that deer browse on "winged" sumac. I don't remember all the specifics but it was enough so that he mentioned keeping them around and planting more with hedge rows, etc. I'm not sure if they eat the berries but the actual tender limbs/leaves is what I understand they browse upon.
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"The world is so dreadfully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain."
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#3338097 - 08/27/13 03:19 PM Re: Sumac? [Re: BlountArrow]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64997
Loc: Nashville, TN

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They eat it, but not like they eat poke. Birds go crazy over the seed heads. I thin big patches of sumac to keep it from taking over (which it will). Deer will bed in sumac patches as well.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3338136 - 08/27/13 03:46 PM Re: Sumac? [Re: BSK]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3040
Loc: Franklin County

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The good thing about summac is that you can tear it out every year and it will produce lots of fresh tender growth and thick cover.

Besides the above, they are one of the 1st trees to turn colors in the Fall and line the field edges with bright red. Red summacs are one of the visual signs that truly get me in the mood to deer hunt.

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#3338161 - 08/27/13 04:09 PM Re: Sumac? [Re: BSK]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1199
Loc: Hardeman

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Ok sirs; thanks for the insight. I want to keep a little bit around some of my edges and believe it does add some habitat diversity (it ain't ONLY about the deer). ;\) What I didn't know was proportionately, how much to keep.

With poke'salit, I leave as much as possible. Blackberry and honeysuckle, I actually try to nurture/cultivate it. Sericea-kill it all! Just wasn't sure where sumac fit in the browse mix (in moderation I guess).

257W: Your comment about fall color is well-taken. I certainly appreciate those crimson reds every fall too.

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#3338179 - 08/27/13 04:22 PM Re: Sumac? [Re: Boll Weevil]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64997
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Love the color in fall!

Yup, keeping some around openings is a good thing. Just don't let it turn into a big sumac "grove."
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3338953 - 08/28/13 07:45 AM Re: Sumac? [Re: BSK]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3040
Loc: Franklin County

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Yeah, I have a bunch that are going to get the chainsaw as soon as deer season ends. They are about 10 to 15 feet tall and are about to take over a field edge. I figure that if I saw them down to the dirt, I'll have new ones shoulder high next Fall.
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#3343029 - 08/31/13 08:39 PM Re: Sumac? [Re: BSK]
Boone 58
16 Point


Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 14764
Loc: Food Plot

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I can tell you that whitetail deer eat the blooms or plumes and I find their bellies full of them. after acid bleaching the seeds look black. Native Indians used to make tea out of the blooms which I have eaten and they are very tart! I killed the below two does traveling together one morning a few years back and though they were together their stomach contents revealed totally different scenarios. the top deer was predominantly acorns and sumac tops and you can barely see some of the small dark seeds but they were actually plentiful. the bottom doe had been feeding on a food plot but had some acorn content mixed in. I found this very interesting. One of the does had a small fetus in it. this was the end of December.





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