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Shrubs for Browse?

1077 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  eyefromthesky
Now that there is snow on the ground, there are no tracks in our food plots (rye,Wheat, Oats). The brassicas are long gone, and the deer in our area seem to ignore turnips and radishes. It appears that the deer are switching to browsing woodsy plants. Are there any type of shrubs that i can plant the would serve as good browse for the deer. I don't have areas to clear cut. And the fields that we have stopped mowing are reverting to blueberry bushes, white pine, birch, hickory, and striped maple.
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White dogwood is the #1 native browse on Pa.
Cut down the birch, hickory and striped maple. The birch and hickory may hinge well providing browse for several more years.
Work your wooded areas by doing TSI, releasing crop trees if you have qaulity timber coming. All woods have low value trees that can be and should be cut. Maybe you don't have many wooded acres? My woods are full of red maple, ash, ironwood (hophornbeam), with pockets of black birch, aspen, and white pine that no longer provides good cover. I could run my chainsaw constantly and never do a clearcut but still enhance the browse. I'm slow to cut my oak, hard maple, cherry, quality ash or red maple stems.
In the end I think the best way to get shrubs is to let sun get to the forest floor. If I were planting I would look at anything in the viburnum family, dogwoods. Avoid autumn olive.
HITW is very knowlegable,we visited his place to get some used tree tubes and got a tour. His work will never be done. As far as the autumn olive, I hate the stuff,we have some on our property and the nieghbors property is overun with it. Guess where the deer are bedded and snacking on? Buddy tracked a deer into this stuff and the sheer # of trails and beds were a surprise. He was literaslly on his hands and knees dragging the deer out. I wouldn't plant it but if you got it, contain it by mowing. Also it holds a lot of grouse and pheasant,an added bonus
Here's an excellent list of preferred winter deer food in New York.

Despite what this list says, keep your white pine.
My personal favorites would be as follows:

American Plum(PGC)
American or Sweat Crabapple(Musser Nursery)
Dolgo Crabapple(Lawyer Nursery)
Flowering Dogwood(PGC)
Chinese Chestnut(PGC and Musser nursery)
Dunstan Chestnut(Walmart or Realtree nursery, nuts on Ebay)
Dwarf Chinkapin Oak(PGC, Superior nursery, Advantage Nursery)
Allegheny Chinkapin(same as above)
Strawberry Bush(Superior Nursery)
Keiffer Pear(bottoms brothers nursery)

If you're willing to spend more money, consider disease resistant apple trees from Adams County Nursery or Cummins Nursery and make sure to get trees on M-111 or B-118 rootstock.
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rrroae said:
Here's an excellent list of preferred winter deer food in New York.

Despite what this list says, keep your white pine.
Interesting list. I have never been in an area yet, big woods or farmland, where deer don't eat blackberry yet it's listed on there as a starvation/poor food?
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