My little slice of Heaven

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
14 years ago I started with the 8 Acres that my house sits on, 2 1/2 years ago I was fortunate enough to buy the 30 acres next door. All the land around me gets pounded during Deer season, even during bow season they do "slow drives" :emoji_astonished: so to say this area gets pressured is an understatement. My land looks just like everything else for almost a 10 mile radius, forests have been cleaned of all money trees like Oaks and the forest floor is barren from overcrowded woods that desperately need thinning. There isn't much for cover anywhere and as you can see, there are a ton of crop fields around my land so putting in food plots for me is fruitless considering the tools I lack in doing so. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, I had no mentor and I had even less means (money) to get where I wanted to go, so everything I have done was done the hard work way. Fail, Learn and try again, rinse and repeat until stuff works.
So I basically started with a clean slate, more than half my property was a sheep farm and the rest is immature maples and poplar so dense that light never hits the ground. In the beginning I was collecting acorns and transplanting trees and rooting dogwood from fresh clippings. I dabbled in grafting, originally with the intent to graft pear scions to wild apple trees around my tree stands, that only frustrated me because everything I tried seemed to fail. I was able to get wild apple scions to take to other wild apples with nearly 100% success so I know it wasn't my grafting, it was simply compatibility issues I knew nothing about. I was told the general rule to grafting is "seed to seed and pit to pit", and it is... just not like I thought. Not just any pear will take to any apple, its more specific than that, so it was a learning experience and I embrace those.
After this years orders go in the ground I will have planted just over 900 (not including my dogwood sticks in a cup and acorns planted) trees, shrubs and berry bushes all focused on Deer and Turkey with some rabbit, grouse and my honeybees in mind. Cover, bedding and food to feed my food have been the goals. Cover doesn't grow fast, but hinge cutting makes instant cover and bedding so I bought a chainsaw and went to work.
My plantings were focused on food sources unique to my area, Persimmons, Chestnuts, Pears, Mullberrys, NineBark, Allegheny Chinquapins etc. Unfortunately most of my land pictures are on my old phone but I dug up what I could to post something here.

Alot of crop fields provide a buffet of Corn, Wheat, Clover and Soy Beans to contend with.
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Thats my house at the top of the picture. The white border is broken up because it was sold to me in parcels but all at the same time.
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The view from my bedroom window. This picture was in late spring, I can only say that because just behind that doe is what I was told was American Bamboo but I think the right identification is knotweed. It grows nearly 10 feet tall and DOES NOT DIE!!! Looking for advice there, anyway It is only 4-5 feet tall in this picture so I know the time of year lol
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My first years plantings here only include what I bought, most of it through our Department of Environmental Conservation seedling sale, some states call the same entity the DNR. I did splurge a little for the Chinese Chestnut, Persimmon and Dwarf Korean Chestnut.

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2019 plantings, I did buy a few White Oaks from Lowes (of all places) because they are 8' tall and give me hope that I will someday hunt over acorns. The crude lines are my 4 wheeler trails so I could keep the map in perspective to plantings.
2019 plantings.jpg

There is much that isn't included in these crude maps but I think you get the point, I planted over 200 things (before acquiring the 30) on the 8 acres my house sits on and so many things I "found" seeds locally to start in cups and stick in the ground that aren't marked here.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Nice first post on your land tour!

Looks like your agriculture to woods in your neighborhood is about 50/50, should make a wildlife paradise. I like the start you have made on your property with the fruit/nut trees and shrubs.
 

Bill

Administrator
Hard to tell if it‘sknotweed. What’s to the left of that doe isn’t but the stuff behind her has big leafs so it might be.
If so glyphosate will kill it but it may take a few applications over the summer.
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Hard to tell if it‘sknotweed. What’s to the left of that doe isn’t but the stuff behind her has big leafs so it might be.
If so glyphosate will kill it but it may take a few applications over the summer.
I have battled with this stuff for 3 years now, last year I got serious and used gly and it still laughed at me. I try not to use anything around my property that can cause problems with my honeybees but this stuff has to go. I sprayed it when it was knee high and the leaves turned brown but near the base of each stalk it sprouted new shoots. I only sprayed once though in all fairness, I will be more diligent this year and spray it multipal times.
 

Bill

Administrator
Yeah it’s going to take more then once. If it’s a small enough area you can mow it and stake a tarp down. That will smother it.
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Yeah it’s going to take more then once. If it’s a small enough area you can mow it and stake a tarp down. That will smother it.
Good idea with the tarp, it is only a 20'X30'ish spot so that would probably be a better way to go. Thank you Bill!
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Nice first post on your land tour!

Looks like your agriculture to woods in your neighborhood is about 50/50, should make a wildlife paradise. I like the start you have made on your property with the fruit/nut trees and shrubs.
Thank you H20! I may be a self taught hack but sources like this group educate me in ways books simply can't.
Thanks man!
Daron
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Yeah it’s going to take more then once. If it’s a small enough area you can mow it and stake a tarp down. That will smother it.
Question, I looked for Miscanthus grass seed as you suggested for screening on another post, and as usually happens there are many variations and some sell rhizomes. I would prefer to plant seeds unless you suggest otherwise but could you post a link to a source for the Miscanthus Grass to buy please? I would hate to end up getting the wrong stuff.
 

Bill

Administrator
Question, I looked for Miscanthus grass seed as you suggested for screening on another post, and as usually happens there are many variations and some sell rhizomes. I would prefer to plant seeds unless you suggest otherwise but could you post a link to a source for the Miscanthus Grass to buy please? I would hate to end up getting the wrong stuff.

the good and bad about miscanthus is it doesn’t grow from seed. It’s a hybrid of a Florida grass developed as a biofuel. Life expectancy is 20 years. Us deer guys have found it to be a great screen. You can actually plant it and not have the seeds take over the neighbors property. its been the perfect screen for roads and access.
rhizomes are the only accepted way to plant it and so far.. mapleriverfarms.com is the best and cheapest source I’ve found.

but it does grow from live stake cuttings once you have some.
 

Chainsaw

5 year old buck +
Great window view you have there. When looking at the picture I thought yikes, a place in NY without obvious invasives. Did not recognize the knotweed and don’t recall ever having seen any before. Stay on it; woods with invasives under control is the greatest. No invasives is one of those things that doesn’t seem to be so valuable until it is too late.

We have a Miscanthus screen here also bought from Maple River Farms. It made a perfect screen for us;Highly Recommended.
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
the good and bad about miscanthus is it doesn’t grow from seed. It’s a hybrid of a Florida grass developed as a biofuel. Life expectancy is 20 years. Us deer guys have found it to be a great screen. You can actually plant it and not have the seeds take over the neighbors property. its been the perfect screen for roads and access.
rhizomes are the only accepted way to plant it and so far.. mapleriverfarms.com is the best and cheapest source I’ve found.

but it does grow from live stake cuttings once you have some.
Thank you very much Bill! I will definitely get some and try to work it into the grand scheme of things. Very much appreciate the advice.
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Great window view you have there. When looking at the picture I thought yikes, a place in NY without obvious invasives. Did not recognize the knotweed and don’t recall ever having seen any before. Stay on it; woods with invasives under control is the greatest. No invasives is one of those things that doesn’t seem to be so valuable until it is too late.

We have a Miscanthus screen here also bought from Maple River Farms. It made a perfect screen for us;Highly Recommended.
Thanks Chainsaw! Where are you referring to when you say "here" bud?
 

Chainsaw

5 year old buck +
east of Lake Ontario, NY
 
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Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
I have planted Chinese Chestnut, Dwarf Korean Chestnut and Alleghany Chinquapin which is a more shrubby Chestnut but am planning on trying to get my hands on some American Chestnuts through the Chapter here in NY. I have emailed them but waiting for a reply.
Thank you for the link!
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Over 200 acorns and Pecan nuts/seeds I’ll be adding to my property this spring. A very generous member here sent me all in the picture except the Sawtooth’s :) I’m stoked to have so much variety!
I’ll be working the chainsaw after Deer season to make room.


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Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Time buy out the neighbor. :emoji_grin:
I am openly optimistic but very doubtful at least for now. I have inquired about it though, so they know who to come to when they are ready to sell.
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I drove 4 1/2 hours round trip to get these 3’ tubes and all the stakes I could load from Knerke!
90% of this year’s plantings and their protection came from this very habitat site. Roughly 90 acorns from one generous member and roughly 150 - 3’ tree tubes from another, I couldn’t be happier!
I am so very thankful that there are such kind and helpful people here!

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Bill

Administrator
Good thing my son wasn’t riding along.
That bag of old trapper would have vanished. Kid can eat a bag in one sitting.
 
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