Evergreens with warm season grass?
Habitat Improvement
Messages posted to thread:
brettpsu 20-Nov-17
t-roy 20-Nov-17
Mad Trapper 20-Nov-17
brettpsu 20-Nov-17
jmiller 20-Nov-17
Mad Trapper 20-Nov-17
Orlando 26-Nov-17
rodb 27-Nov-17
Orlando 27-Nov-17
DEMO-Bowhunter 28-Nov-17
Termin8r 01-Dec-17


I just acquired 12 acres that borders my existing land. Looking to create some additional bedding buy mainly a screen. It's 90% open hay field on a high ridge in western Pa. I currently have 40-50 acres in warm season grasses and probably 30 acres of thick regrowth forest with another 20 acres or more of mixed mature forest. Plenty of food plots and ag fields around. I need this new 12 acres to be a screen from a trigger happy neighbor. My plan is to plant solid evergreens for the first 60-100' surrounding the property then the inner 5 acres plant warm season grass mixed with patches of evergreen and maybe shrub like trees. Would this work or anyone have any other ideas?

Could the evergreens be planted into something like Egyptian Wheat? Or would the wheat kill the evergreens in the first year?

By: t-roy

Have you looked into Miscathus Gigantheus? I’ve never planted it, but am considering it for an annual screen/edge planting.


I would consider planting hybrid poplars (couple or three rows) and then back up with evergreens. The poplars grow very fast and will make a screen while the evergreens grow. Egyptian wheat will have to be planted every year and can get expensive. Check Big Rock Trees. The poplars are sold as cuttings. You will need to put down plastic though. If you don't, they don't grow very fast. If you have a high deer population, you may have to screen them. I have also planted the miscathus grasses and they work, but they too are slow growers.


Tom have you used the hybrid poplars? They seem like a great idea. Might even do the outer two rows in willow and the inner rows in poplar.


The only downside to the poplar are they are a short lived tree. Here in eastern ND they are lucky to make 20 years before they die.


yes I have used them and they grow fast. If you also plant the evergreens, they will be mature even if the poplars die in 20 years.


I planted a shelterbelt 5 years ago with two rows of cedars, a row of peking cotoneaster, and a row of American plum. All have done well but will not provide an adequate screen for a couple more years. The Pheasants Forever Blizzard Buster adjacent to the shelter belt provides and excellent screen and deer bed in it...right by a main road.

By: rodb

I live in Minnesota and it will take 10 to 15 years for pine (Spruce) to grow to 20 feet. Aspen grows quickly but the canopy is high. Red oak if planted with space will provide cover from top to bottom and the leaves will stay on the tree all fall but oak takes awhile to grow also. Your best option might be something like corn.


Get your cedars planted early spring...get them in the ground and then a short term fix while waiting for the cedars to grow. Might also look into ordering the trees soon if ordering as they usually run out. MDC - Missouri department of conservation is the best price I have found for bare root seedlings.


I planted the entire perimeter of my properties using 4 rows of 2-2 transplant Norway spruce and they make a great screen once they mature. It takes about 10 years for them to start working on 10' centers. The giant Miscathus could be a good short term fix with the spruce being a good long term fix. Switch grass does a decent job of standing in late winter, but acts as a decent screen.


You might also try looking into speckled alder (as well as your Norway spruce). Speckled alder holds its leaves for a long time and is a fast grower (as well as being native to PA). Check out some of bish's threads over at the Michigan Sportsman forums under whitetail habitat. He is a big advocate for Norway Spruce and Speckled Alder.

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