Plants for screening

Red

5 year old buck +
I'm looking for some ideas for screening plantings. I have a fence line along the north side of my property with ag fields on each side. It's currently just tall grass and weeds and deer use it to travel from a timber block to a swamp and back out the other side to another timber block. I'm thinking if I thicken this path with shrubs/brush, the trails would be used more and more during daylight hours plus screen me from the road.
So, What are some good shrubs to use? Anything that deer like to nibble on or have berries for the turkey, pheasant and grouse? Any ideas are welcome. What is good and why?
Oh, and I'm in central MN.
Thanks
 
D

dipper

Guest
That's a wide open ?, you've come to the right place. Do some research on this site and you'll start getting ideas. If you want food and security, I'd do a compination of mast, nut trees, and conifers.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
If I had a fence line in open country, I'd plant staggered rows of Norway and white spruce with Washington hawthorn. I'd plant the Hawthorns on the south ( sunny ) side and the spruce closest to the road. In the early years, the haws will be small and let plenty of sunlight get to the spruce. Once the spruce get up some the sun will get to them even when the haws are leafed out. But being deciduous, the haws will not shade the spruce for a lot of the year. When they DO have leaves, they don't make heavy shade - more of a dappled sunlight / shade. The hawthorns put out loads of red berries about 3/8" to 1/2" dia. that grouse ( especially ) and turkeys love. Deer will nip the ends of the haw limbs where there are no thorns. A forester recommended this combo to me and he was right on. Spruce for windbreak & security cover / screen - haws for browse, berries, screening and great nesting cover for ANY bird.
 

Red

5 year old buck +
Thanks for the ideas so far. I like your plan of conifers and deciduous. I'll have to look into hawthorns a bit. I don't know anything about them.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
Be careful with the "deer like them" issue. If they like them, you are going to have to protect them pretty heavily until they are established. That's the toughest part of planting desirable trees & shrubs. They tend to like them too much :)

-John
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Be careful with the "deer like them" issue. If they like them, you are going to have to protect them pretty heavily until they are established. That's the toughest part of planting desirable trees & shrubs. They tend to like them too much :)

-John
Bingo. That's why I chose this year to go big on RO Dogwood. So far so good. Winter will be the real test. Not many deer around now, so I was hoping I could get away with desirables in high quauntites in my open spots.
 

Red

5 year old buck +
Great list. Thanks. Now I have to start researching and figuring out what combo I want. Any preferred sources you buy from?
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
If you want a good screen shrub that deer won't eat use plain old Common lilac.
 
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