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Feeding wildlife #5559950 01/23/15 03:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
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HS2 Offline OP
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Has anyone ever planted crabapples to attract animals? It would seem like a good idea to me, since they are basically a native tree and should attract deer and squirrels. I realize oaks take a long time to mature and make acorn crops, so planting them would be really long-term, but crabapples should make in just a few years. It would seem to me to be a great way to attract animals, but I've never heard of anyone doing it. Has anyone tried it?

Any other hardy, native trees that might attract deer and squirrels? Mulberries? Persimmons? Any others?

Re: Feeding wildlife [Re: HS2] #5559967 01/23/15 03:22 PM
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stxranchman Online Content
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Only experience I have is with the Blanco Crabapple trees in Kendall County. The deer would eat the leaves readily and to the point of over-browsing them. They tillered(root sprouted) a lot and deer would eat or hedge those tillers to where some looked like a baseball bat. If I had stayed on the at ranch I was going to take cattle panels to protect several of them to see how growth they were putting out that the deer utilized. They were highly prefered on this ranch. The fruit really just laid on the ground and I never was able to see any use of it by the wildlife that I could tell. They were extremely hardy to live in that soil and with that kind of browsing pressure. I would think if you planted them you would need to cage them to protect them from early browsing pressure.
Ranch also had the Native Persimmon to the Hill Country which makes a smaller and black fruit. In years when they made fruit the deer gorged themselves on them till they were all gone. They usually matured in early to late August. Other wildlife where the same with the fruit. The leaves are a lower class browse plant unless you do a controlled burn or mechanical cutting of the plant. New growth was utilized better than mature leaves.
Honeysuckle would be a good plant for deer.


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Re: Feeding wildlife [Re: HS2] #5559986 01/23/15 03:29 PM
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Steven Bates Offline
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my parents have a crabapple tree in their back yard (they live on 10 acres out in rural South Arkansas). when the crabapples start to fall, their yard is covered in deer until there is nothing left. It's pretty impressive to see how many deer that 1 tree can draw.


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Re: Feeding wildlife [Re: HS2] #5560090 01/23/15 04:29 PM
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Old Rabbit Offline
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SBates, you are dead on about the number of deer around a single tree. We live in a rural area and have 3 trees. I have see as many as 24 deer in my yard about 20 yards from my bedroom window. I have a browse line on all of the trees.

Re: Feeding wildlife [Re: HS2] #5560545 01/23/15 08:22 PM
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Herron Offline
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If you go to the QDMA website, you'll find all sorts of info on crabapples and deer. They are a highly favored tree for planting to attract deer if the tree is suited to your area and/or you can maintain (ie. water) the tree. Same with persimmons, plums, apples, pears, etc. Moisture, and to some extent periods of freezing temps, are your biggest concerns in Texas.

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