Thread: New Farm needs trees

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Nashville, TN

    New Farm needs trees

    My wife and I recently purchased 62 acres of farm land, mostly pasture, in north central TN. We are wanting to start planting some trees and a friut/nut orchard but I have some questions.

    - Is it OK to plant the trees as received in thier permanent location? I won't mow then over or anything and would like to save the several year growing/replanting process.

    - Should I wait until the construction crew is done building our new home? I think the answer to this is yes especially for the area of the driveway and the buildings. How far is far enough away from construction/traffic?

    - What to do about the deer. We have lots of deer, turkeys, etc. but the coyotes have thinned the smaller animals considerably. I read a bar of irish spring will help keep the deer at bay and maybe we could consider planting an alternate food source. An 8' foot fence is not financially feasible at this point and given amount of area we want these trees in, probably won't ever be.

    These trees will serve mulitple purposes. I already mentioned the fruit/nut orchard. Out front, we need visibility buffers. Ornamental types for the yard. A weeping willow tree or three down by the stream. Others that will increase wildlife habitat; are just some of the ideas we've had so far. The existing woods contain quite a variety already such as sycamores (so many we may call this sycamore creeks farm), maples, oaks (white & yellow), hickory (2 varieties), cedar, paw paw, etc. (caution: my id skills are limited to the books I got at the library....;') There are numerous saplings around that we may use as well by relocating them.

    I'm sure I'll have many more questions but for now this might help us out. I am busy trying to get the TN Dept. of Wildlife out there to look at the streams, advise on vegitation for small animals, coyote controls, etc. I have also reached out to the state forestry agent and am awaiting his response.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Lincoln, Nebraska - Lancaster County (Zone 5)

    RE: New Farm needs trees

    Hello ddeyong,

    I'll start by answering a few of your questions.

    First of all, it sounds like there is still some construction activities going on in the locations where you would like to plant trees. See if the forester can gauge whether or not you need to begin by planting your trees in a temporary nursery bed. Another issue is making sure you care for any existing trees you want to save on the site.

    Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction

    Planting trees right after new construction can be a challenge. Often topsoil is removed from the site prior to construction and not all of it is replaced when the project is complete. New homeowners can write soil management techniques into their building contract, just as they should require stockpiling and replacing topsoil.

    We cover all this in Tree City USA bulletin #5 - Living with Urban Soils

    You should take a look at our entire list of Tree City USA bulletins as you begin to plan the landscape for your farm.

    Another wonderful resource is our Backyard Woods program. You can download all of the tip sheets at no charge.

    Would someone else in the Forum like to address the subject of deer protection?

    Send me an email with your contact information please. I have a few items I would like to mail to you.
    Sincerely, Robert
    Lincoln, NE (Zone 5)

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
    - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eastern PA

    RE: New Farm needs trees

    I don't know if I can tell you what to do about the deer, but I can tell you what I've done:

    I've used Ivory soap bars - worked for a cousin in Maine, and gave a temporary stay to the deer here in Pennsylvania, but eventually they washed off, or possibly were kicked/scraped away from the tree. For most, one day they were there, the next they were crushed into the ground, and the trees (seedlings one and all) were nipped in the bud, pun quite intended.

    I've used systemic tablets - they've kept damage to a minimum, but the deer still managed to swallow large portions of three trees so treated. They didn't, however, finish them off as they had the previous year (at least, not yet). The primary drawback to these tablets is that they can't be used on plants that provide for human consumption (mulberry, elderberry, and others are unprotected.)

    I've attempted to bribe my son to sit outside 24-7 and chase them away, but that hasn't worked. I tried to train my cats to go after them, but they watch the deer and chase the bears. I'm planning on getting some chicken wire and some posts and circling the most favored ones until they grow out of deer range. I've given up on the pussy willows and elderberry, as they will never fully get out of that danger zone.

    I have also been leaving the red maple seedlings that sprout up everywhere, as sometimes the deer seem to favor them. Once the trees I've planted grow out of range of the deer, I'll return to being more aggressive about keeping the red maple population in check.

    Next year, I'm considering spraying with a hot-pepper/egg/? mix (which is what many of the commercially available spray products are.)

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC

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