Planning Ahead for the Upcoming Season!
I hope everyone had a safe, successful hunting season. Now it is that time of year to think about habitat improvements and plot plans. Getting some plans written down and maps made up of your property are very helpful to achieve you goals for the season. It seems every year planting and hunting season sneaks up on all of us.
Habitat improvements may include invasive species control, hinge cutting mature stands, ordering trees and shrubs to increase bedding areas, and frost seeding weak stands or switch grass screening.
Invasive species control can be done by hand with minimal equipment. The two methods I use most often is basil bark treatment and hack and squirt. Basil bark is simply applying chemical to the bottom 12-14” of the tree/brush. You want to make sure you apply all the way around the tree/brush until the chemical enters the ground. It is not necessary to soak the ground. Hack and squirt is a method where a hatchet is used to “hack” into the outer inch of the tree and you squirt chemical into the wound you created. One hack per inch of diameter is sufficient. This method is not the best method for brush control, but ideal for trees that you do not want to cut down.
If you do prefer to have the tree cut down and removed, use the cut stump treatment. If this method is used you want to make sure all stumps are treated within a half hour after being cut. Failure to treat within this time frame will result in poor kills.
If heavy equipment is available cutting or mowing can be used to remove large stands. When I mow a stand of brush, I prefer to follow up next spring killing the new shoots.
Trying to treat brush stumps after mowing is virtually an impossible task. Any trees or brush that is removed should be piled on sight and burned, if possible, to limit spreading seeds in unwanted areas. Also, clean equipment thoroughly before moving to a new area. You will want to keep a close eye on these areas for new shoots coming up throughout the year as there may be a large seed bank within the soil . If possible, these are good areas to seed down with a perennial rye/clover mix. This will help prevent erosion and shade out the new shoots.
When I am planning for next seasons plots I like to make up maps of what plots need soil testing, which ones need to be rotated, which plots I want to have for summer feed/weed control, and which plots I want to use as kill plots. Getting soil samples and having a plan in place ahead of time is a good practice to make sure you get plots conditioned in time and seed purchased so you are ready to plant when conditions are right. Planting season always seems to sneak up on us!
To learn more about brush control methods in more detail and the chemicals available please feel free to give me a call.
Good luck shed hunting!