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Swampy plants/shrubs

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
In your opinion, what is the most beneficial things to plant in swampy areas for deer (preferable) or wildlife in general?
I have 3 spots that are roughly 1 acre each that only grow short knee-high grasses that deer don't seem to touch. I rarely see a deer (or tracks) go through them let alone feeding in these areas. Just feels like I could make these areas more productive for wildlife, its not watery enough for waterfowl, basically year round wet spots that I could cross in the summer hoping from dry spot to dry spot.
Thanks in advance guys!
 

S.T.Fanatic

5 year old buck +
Just putting this out there. When it comes to hunting, knowing the locations that deer don't frequent, IMO, is better info than the area the do frequent. Funnels and all that.

With that being said, I think Jewel weed, dogwood, and "Indian telescopes" (not sure what they are actually called) will fill your needs.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
If wet grass only grows in an area it is often because nothing else can tolerate the frequently high water levels. That is unless somehow the larger shrubs were killed off by an outside force like frequent fire, cattle, etc. for a long period of time.

Shrub willows and red osier dogwood are both very tolerant of wet soils and make great bedding areas for deer.

I have a wet area similar to what you described and I also wanted to convert it to better deer cover. I planted water tolerant shrubs and they did OK in dry years, but eventually drowned out in wet years.

I think it would be a good test if you planted a few shrubs in the highest areas you can find in that area. Control the adjacent weeds, put a fence around it so they aren't immediately killed by deer and see what happens.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
What is the source of the wet ground?

As Ben stated, there is a reason why the area in shrub free.

If you can't drain the ground, you could dig a 50'-75' pond on each parcel. make them 3' deep to avoid cattails. Use the dirt removed to build 2' high mounds that will stay dry. You can then plant shrubs there to make them bedding spots.

The ponds, unless there is a constant water source, should help dry the surrounding ground out and be more exposed for evaporation.
 
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Tamarack

5 year old buck +
If interested in trees there are Tamaracks..cedars...swamp white oak etc.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
If interested in trees there are Tamaracks..cedars...swamp white oak etc.

None of those will survive root flooding. Tamaracks are best suited for wet ground, but they will die if water gets around their root collar.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Buttonbush ROD highbush cranberry
 

Tamarack

5 year old buck +
None of those will survive root flooding. Tamaracks are best suited for wet ground, but they will die if water gets around their root collar.

Well he talked about dry spots- perfect for such trees. We've had good luck in marshy areas doing that. One place we don't own but have permission to hunt has about 15 acres of "old growth" tamaracks that quite often have standing water all around them. Can ice skate around them in the winter if you wanted.
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
I went around last night and checked these 3 areas to address your questions more accurately, 2 of the 3 are odd shaped so it is hard to get a grasp on how big they are but after walking the perimeter I would estimate the odd shaped ones to be more like 1/2 an acre and the 3rd is likely more than an acre. The largest of the wet spots has an underground spring that keeps it wet and water slowly trickling through all summer. That one is actually the source of the old main water supply that is gravity fed to my house that we had to abandon because it failed the water test when I was purchasing the house, so the previous owner had to drill a well. The other 2 just seem to be low spots that stay muddy (I lost a boot in one last summer) all summer so I suspect, considering the dry summer we've had, there is a source of the water I cannot see.
SWO would likely live on the edge of these, I actually found 2 @ 15' tall Burr Oaks last night while walking the perimeter that I didn't know I had growing 20 feet away from one of these spots #winning. I just see these spots as something I could do that is more beneficial to some kind of wildlife even if it's not for whitetails, if I had access to equipment I would dig them out and make them water holes with something growing on the edges. I do like Tree Spud's idea of digging 2 of them out and creating mounds in them and planting for bedding areas.
I very much appreciate the input guys!
 

scott44

5 year old buck +
ROD and willows both don't mind wet feet.
 

S.T.Fanatic

5 year old buck +
If it was me id be ok with some plantings but other than that I fully believe wetlands no matter how big or small should be left alone.
 
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