trees/shrubs to create cover
Habitat Improvement
Messages posted to thread:
MDcrazyman 09-Jan-18
stick n string 09-Jan-18
MDcrazyman 09-Jan-18
ohiohunter 09-Jan-18
jmiller 10-Jan-18
Catscratch 10-Jan-18
r-man 10-Jan-18
MDcrazyman 13-Jan-18
stick n string 13-Jan-18
Kodiak 13-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 13-Jan-18
Olink 13-Jan-18
Dutch oven 13-Jan-18
Beendare 13-Jan-18
Catscratch 13-Jan-18
MDcrazyman 18-Jan-18
Matte 18-Jan-18
longspeak74 18-Jan-18
sticksender 18-Jan-18
South Farm 18-Jan-18
J. h2os 30-Jan-18
MK111 30-Jan-18
Olink 31-Jan-18
RIT 31-Jan-18
rooster 31-Jan-18
Skippy 31-Jan-18


What is the cheapest way to create cover, I have a small piece but I want it to hold some deer it has some mature oaks but has some open spaces I have 25 Sumac shrubs coming to help, what else? I have some neighbors thet push the limits with four wheelers and riding bikes. Sumac should spread to keep that down in a few years. What else fellas.


Hingecut the junk trees. Not exactly what your asking, but a free way to hamper atv activity right away and lets light to the ground so better things can grow


did a lot of that a few years ago and was expecting the forest floor to explode but it did little if nothing, kinda confusing but about 8 inches of leaves on floor. ATV and bikes are on neighbors but they skirt the boundary. Thanks for your input.


Honeysuckle, not sure how you’d go about planting it. Pines always seem to hold deer too.

Edit. On second thought honeysuckle might not be too good of an idea, it’ll choke out a lot of other stuff.


Dogwood, willow, false indigo all grow fast and shrubby


Use nature and what is already there. There are ways to promote it.

If hinging didn't work then actually clear cut some spaces in your trees. Clear big enough that the ground gets direct sunlight at least 4-5hrs a day. Direct sunlight is very important to regeneration.

Leave brush piles from what you cut. Birds will perch on them and poop out seeds of local shrubs, grasses, legumes, and trees. If you want to help you can throw some milo or corn out to encourage birds to use the area. Brushpiles also act as "exclusion cages" for the new grow to protect young browse species from being eaten by deer.

I would strongly recommend you research honeysuckle before you plant any. The wrong species can be highly invasive and a LOT of headache in the future.

Good luck.

By: r-man

black berry , wild rose , blue berry plants , and you can plant corn around your edges


Ok, thats what is a bit weird the ground gets significant sunlight in areas but nothing new is coming up. I thought it would explode with growth, nothing


Do you have a lot of walnut or ailanthus(sp?) trees? If i am correct, i dont know what its called, their roots put hormones or something out that inhibit other plants and stuff from growing well.


About 20 years ago we planted red osier dogwood and cedars. Turned into fantabulous cover.


It's simple, you aren't getting enough direct sunlight to the forest floor to encourage regeneration of young, first stage succession species like greenbrier, blackberries, Multi-flora Rose, Poke bush, etc..... They come before a trees seed regeneration will be noticed. So, if you aren't seeing the young succession species mentioned above, you aren't getting enough sunlight to the forest floor for them to regenerate. Which means tree species aren't getting enough to regenerate either. God Bless

By: Olink

Honeysuckle bush and greenbriar.


As Catscratch said, be very careful you're planting the native limber or grape honeysuckle (not bush or Japanese honeysuckle!!!!) and never plant multiflora rose which is another disgusting exotic species. Nine bark is a nice cover plant although I don't know if deer make much use of it.


What about Osage?

The best big buck bedding area I've seen was in Kansas....8 acres of IMPENETRABLE hedge.


^^^ I'm in KS and love Hedge (Osage Orange). Great cover, super easy to grow, a preferred browse species, high in protein, drought tolerant, and has no disease or pest issues. With that said a lot of my fellow Kansans hate the tree as it tends to take over pastures if not maintained... and it has thorns. Some consider it invasive, but to me it's easy to control as a little basal spray takes it out and it doesn't spread real fast. Now Honey Locust is a different story. That is a plant straight from hell.


thanks guys

By: Matte

I have an issue with honey suckle as it will grow as fast as a sunflower each year but never die. It will however hold a ton of deer as it greens up first and goes dormant last. As well as young shoots. However with that being said we try and kill it off every year on most of the ground and then leave 10 acres of it as sanctuary


Look at Seviceberry (Amelanchier). Smaller, shrubby tree with berries the bird's love. I would stay away from Honeysuckle, in any variety. It's listed as an invasive here in WI.


In your part of the country, for uplands, Northern White Cedar or Eastern Red Cedar should work well, if you don't mind waiting a while for maturity. You may be able to get seedlings cheap from your state nursery.

On the flood plain portion of my ground, where no evergreen can survive, the best bedding cover is Giant Ragweed. It pioneers any disturbed open areas, and can grow to 16 feet annually, when located in full sun. The deer love to eat it in summer, and bed in the stalk fields in winter.


Where I live the deer mow sumac to the ground in winter, so not sure that's the answer.


Md, you might try a control burn. it my generate growth

By: MK111

Honey suckle is the plauge from hell. It grows on every inch on my farm that isn't in pasture. Sure the deer eat it but after couple heavy frost the bushes are 100% bare as all the leaves drop plus it seems nothing grows under it. I wouldn't wish it on a enemy.

By: Olink

MK111 - I don't understand your comment about honeysuckle bushes losing their leaves after a heavy frost. In my area honeysuckle bushes are one of the last things to lose their leaves. I often have honeysuckle bushes with leaves still hanging on into early December (SE PA). Honeysuckle is probably the #1 cover for deer in my area.


Honeysuckle is an invasive. As Olink said honeysuckle keeps its leaves very late. I have a yearly battle with bush honeysuckle. Deer do browse on it but I can’t say for sure that it’s a preferred browse.

The trouble is unchecked it spreads. Not as fast as buckthorn or some others but it will try and form a moniculture.

The giant bush honeysuckle shrubs really canopy the area under it and becomes rather bare. It does create some cover though. I kill some of it and if it’s already in a bedding areas I’ll cut the big shrubs low to the ground so they send up tender shoots.

I also have a vining honeysuckle that lines my driveway. About 500’ of it. I always see deer standing near the edge browsing on the vines.

I have a buckthorn problem also. If I had to choose between the two I’d take bush honeysuckle every time.


I once lived on a farm that in the past had been heavily grazed. To the point of only that mature trees remaining. By the time I lived there, honeysuckle had filled in a considerable part of the understory. The deer simply thrived in that jungle! We have a popular riverside park here in NW Ohio that is covered up in deer. No matter the time of year the honeysuckle thickets along the foot paths always hold the most deer. I don't own land but, if I did, I think honeysuckle would be part of my plans to attract and hold deer.

By: Skippy

You might try talking to the local NRCS office. They can for sure tell you what plant are invasive.

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