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#1390058 - Sun Oct 18 2009 11:32 PM Pine seedlings for deer cover.
YoteSlayer Offline

Registered: Sun Oct 18 2009
Posts: 123
Loc: pa
Hey guys, I want to order some pine seedlings through the PGC program this year. Im just trying to plan out where i want to plant them and what kind to order for my property. I have about a 2 acre clearing that i would like to put pine in. Just not sure which one would be the best for deer cover. I was thinking about going with the Norway spruce spacing 8x8. I know the norway keeps its branches all the way to the bottom. Would the deer like this? Should i go with a different pine?

#1390326 - Mon Oct 19 2009 08:49 AM Re: Pine seedlings for deer cover. [Re: YoteSlayer]
HomeintheWoods Offline

Registered: Sat Apr 02 2005
Posts: 2410
Loc: Northern PA
I've planted over 10,000 evergreen seedlings over the last 2 decades and have planted primarily norway spruce and white pine. There's been a few white spruce and red pine in the mix. I don't beliee in planting only one species because if a disease hits them you have nothing left. Your spacing is correct, but I don't plant in rows because it doesn't look natural. I know it helps with mechanical weed control but I've never done any so I don't have that as a consideration. It takes awhile to go from 10 inch seedlings (3-0) to 10 foot trees but I've sen it happen and consider it well worth the investment of time, energy and money.
I miss my hunting partner

#1390351 - Mon Oct 19 2009 09:03 AM Re: Pine seedlings for deer cover. [Re: HomeintheWoods]
YoteSlayer Offline

Registered: Sun Oct 18 2009
Posts: 123
Loc: pa
So how well do the deer like the norways?
Will they bed in them? I am just having a hard time seeing them crawling under one of these trees. From the pictures I have seen of norways the branches go all the way to the ground. Are they able to even walk through them?

Edited by YoteSlayer (Mon Oct 19 2009 09:10 AM)

#1390490 - Mon Oct 19 2009 10:32 AM Re: Pine seedlings for deer cover. [Re: YoteSlayer]
red oak Offline
On the board

Registered: Thu Feb 19 2009
Posts: 245
Loc: Pa
Deer will use the norways for bedding and cover in a few years and will have no problem at all walking through them but you will! Eventually the lower branches get shaded out and die off but you'll have good cover for a long time. Plant'em close, you can always thin. 8X8 or even 6X6 is about right.

I like your strategy HomeintheWoods. Plant a diverse species mix over a period of years in a random pattern to achieve various stages of growth.

Only problem is if you have a lot of deer they may eat the norway seedlings. If that's the case, plant white spruce and the deer won't touch them. I planted white spruce in quarter acre clumps about 12 years ago in a fern infested area. The seedlings grew right up through the ferns with no spraying and deer now bed in them.

#1391158 - Mon Oct 19 2009 05:59 PM Re: Pine seedlings for deer cover. [Re: red oak]
Mike M. Offline

Registered: Fri Mar 07 2008
Posts: 2175
Loc: Pa. Philadelphia
Mix it up!Norway is an excellent choice,but plant other species.White spruce,blue spruce,white pine,Scotch pine,Austrian pine,I even planted a few ponderosa pine.They are all growing andit is good to have multi species.

#1391374 - Mon Oct 19 2009 07:50 PM Re: Pine seedlings for deer cover. [Re: Mike M.]
bake545 Offline

Registered: Tue Dec 11 2001
Posts: 2106
Loc: Harrison City, Westmoreland
I've also planted thousands of pines, mostly norway spruce. We have usually planted them at 8 ft spacing but I'd go to 10 unless you want to be doing some thinning some day. As others have said the deer won't have any problem getting through them but they will nip the tops off at times and the bucks like to rub them. Eventually the pines will outpace the deer so don't get discouraged.

#1408788 - Thu Oct 29 2009 01:05 AM Re: Pine seedlings for deer cover. [Re: bake545]
ambush Offline

Registered: Sat Oct 24 2009
Posts: 3
Loc: PA
As a grower of Christmas Trees, the best evergreen for deer cover is White Pine, hands down. They are hardy, fast growing and provide excellent thermal and security, especially during winter. Plant them in bunches of 50 to 100, spaced 10 to 15 feet apart in suitable dwelling areas and even along streams. I hope this helps.

Edited by ambush (Thu Oct 29 2009 01:06 AM)


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