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Neighbor Thinks I'm crazy


Well-Known Member
So just over a year ago, I bought 120 acre farm. It's a mostly tillable tract, but has a deer hunting wildlife element to the farm. The Wildlife element to the farm consists of some CRP, and A river bottom that looks like park city.(Hollow)
So after visiting with a fella that works on Timber stand improvement, I've determined I have to open up the canopy(Full of huge river maples) to try to make some ground cover for the deer.(Trying to make a Moderately thick, Thermal covered Sanctuary for the deer)

So last March I spent 2-3 days cutting huge river maples, and on day 2 the neighbor to this farm comes down and wonders why I'm cutting all these trees. And says I'm crazy for doing so.

After seeing the results this year from my first cut. I think I'm going to cut 2 more big areas on my farm.

So which begs the question what do you guys plant for Thermal cover for the deer? I was thinking maybe a Cedar of some kind, I'd like to line the West edge, and SE edge of my property with some sort of thermal cover.
(This tree/bush has to tolerate wet feed because the water comes up and goes down on the piece, and has to tolerate sand on this river bottom)
Couple thoughts....

Soft maple is worth a little bit of money. You could probably get some money for them (if there is enough) AND save yourself the effort of cutting them yourself so you can concentrate on other improvements.

Replant options on river ground that may flood- More maple, box elder (maple family), cottonwood, willow, swamp white oak, Walnut. You can try cedar, but they likely will not tolerate the flooding.
Echo on selling maple!!!! Big $!!!

Planting low area shrubs: Buttonbush, highbush cranberry, all the dogwoods, chokeberry, arrowwood, etc.
trees for wetter areas: pin oak, swamp oak. If it floods - those 2 will work. If it doesn’t flood & not crazy wet…. Walnut if wanted some. Pawpaw is a good one.

If it were mine- I’d plant a variety of willow thickets as well.

Cedar is only gonna thrive in the drier areas. Can’t take wet feet. Find a well drained area. Like above says.
Get some cedar in the areas that are not too wet .. as Skip noted.

3acres of cedar planted will do wonders
I have similar ground and a similar situation. I will be planting a few acorns I gathered but I probably don't need to. If you have willows and pin oak around they will find a way in if you can keep the maple in check. SWO and Bur oak are other good choices. Shrubs: Button bush, Red Oshier Dogwood, silky dogwood.
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