Anybody ever set out pines in open hardwood stands??

BSK

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Are pines better than cedars?
I wouldn't say that. Cedars produce even more of a wind and rain break than pines. However, cedars are hard to establish in better sites because they grow so slowly. Now they will dominate in the absolute poorest sites (worn-out old pastures with rock slab).
 

BSK

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For as far as the eye can see my property is surrounded by plantation pine ridges and hardwood hollows. Very few green fields in any direction. My goal would be to not only provide a legit food source but cover so that I am able to house a few deer.

I have a friend with Mossy Oak who is going to come out in a few weeks and help me formulate a plan. Perhaps the removal of any of my timber is a bad plan. We'll see. Thanks for the tips guys.
If you already have a lot of pine plantation around, then adding more pine will not be a benefit. I would stick with early successional regrowth. The trick is how to keep it that way. Successional regrowth quickly transforms back into timber without manipulation.
 

Swampster

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Pines will do well in heavily thinned hardwoods, but not lightly thinned hardwoods. Below is a couple of pictures of our pine seedling planting after timber harvest. We planted 4,000 in patches, no patch is more than about 7 acres. The progression of pictures is only through 2 1/2 years. The 1.5 Gen seedlings we planted in early March of 2021 are now 3-9 feet tall. The shortest ones are the ones planted amongst lightly thinned timber. The tallest ones (9+ feet) are in more open areas. And this is extremely rough, rocky, dry ridge-top ground.

And deer now use these small pine plantings in their travel patterns. In fact, once the leaves are off, deer will detour away from their normal routes to travel through the pines. The young pines provide more visual cover than the grasses, briers, leafless saplings in the cut areas. The only problem is the number of young pines the bucks are rubbing to death. I almost shot a buck for the crime of killing some of my pines! If he hadn't looked right at me as he tore the little sapling to pieces...
I had that experience with the bucks some years ago. I planted about 100 pines in small groupings around the farm. I didn't expect 100% survival, but I didn't know that the deer would kill a third of them either.
 

BSK

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I had that experience with the bucks some years ago. I planted about 100 pines in small groupings around the farm. I didn't expect 100% survival, but I didn't know that the deer would kill a third of them either.
Back when I did my decade-long rub study, I found pines one of the top preferred species for making large rubs. Basically, as the size of the rubbed tree increased, the number of species chosen by bucks declined. For small-diameter rubbed trees, the species used simply matched the species available. However, as the size of the rubbed tree increased, the number of species declined, and did NOT match the species available. Of the trees in the largest diameter class, the number of species chosen declined to just 5 species: cedar, pine, beech, poplar, and maple, in that order. At the time of the study, cedar and pine were two of the rarest trees on the property.
 

Wooden Arrow

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young pines are favored bedding areas here, even more so further north. temps are warmer in a cedar/pine thicket in nasty weather. cedars stay short longer, making better cover.
 

BSK

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I prefer pine because they can outgrow competition from other species. Cedars are fairly slow growing and need open space to do well.
 

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