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Mar 25th, 2012
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Trees for deer #7075992
02/12/18 11:01 PM
02/12/18 11:01 PM
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Anton, TX, and Stonewall Count...
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If you could plant trees on your place for deer food like oaks for acorns or fruit trees what would you plant? There are no oaks in my area currently. I realize it could take years for some tree to produce but I'm okay with that. I already feed corn and protein year around but would just like to add other attractants.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076005
02/12/18 11:11 PM
02/12/18 11:11 PM
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Persimmon, fig, apple, pears. Oaks will be good too depending upon the variety of oak.


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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076010
02/12/18 11:16 PM
02/12/18 11:16 PM
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Ive seen a lot of Shinnery oak between your place and the Pitchfork but that stuff can get thick so you would prob have to keep an eye on it. Im attaching a link to tpwd pertaining to stonewall county. Includes numbers for wildlife biologist in the county. Iíd give them a call and maybe they can give you a better idea of what to plant.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/land/habitats/high_plains/regulatory/?county=stonewall

Last edited by SapperTitan; 02/12/18 11:30 PM.

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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076014
02/12/18 11:20 PM
02/12/18 11:20 PM
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Best short-term return - persimmon

Best long-term return - white oak


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Spring, Texas
Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076030
02/12/18 11:27 PM
02/12/18 11:27 PM
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Carrollton/ Young, Blanco coun...
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Persimmon, Plum wild & domestic, small fruit varieties of Pear, Mulberry, Crab Apple, Apple if they will produce fruits in your area, White Oaks.
The more you plant the better.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076064
02/13/18 12:05 AM
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For attractants, you probably wonít do much better than white oak, however you need to realize this would be solely as a fall attractant as oak trees are a very small part of a deers nutritional supply on a year to year basis.

I would recommend some sort of grow tube to at least 5í tall to protect any trees you plant as deer can browse the leaves if you donít protect and they will rub a young tree to death also.

Persimmon, Osage orange, sand plum and white oak are what is bundled in a seedling pack I got from OK sept of forestry this year. They will be bareroot seedlings and I plan to put them in grow tubes to allow them to grow. Looking long term at creating funnels and movement paths for deer but realize these wonít be effective as attractants or screens for many many years.


For short term nutritional needs, field management is much more beneficial to deer to create usable forbs and cover for fawns.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076080
02/13/18 12:15 AM
02/13/18 12:15 AM
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Near one of my stands I started planting two to five trees every winter/early spring. Location, soil, and how often you are there to water them, your needs may be very different than mine. Mine are on a lease, so I want trees that might produce soon enough that I may actually get to hunt over them. I don't go to the lease much during the summer, so I need a fair chance some will survive that first summer if I don't get out there to water them much. And being a hunting lease, I am only interested in hunting, so I want trees that produce close to or during deer and spring turkey hunting seasons. Budget is small, so I have only been hand picking trees from places like Lowes, tractor supply, or special deals I run across.

Best experience has been Pear trees. They grow fast and don't take as long as other trees to produce fruit. Specifically Keiffer. Other late producing trees I plan on planting if available when I plant are seikel and asian.

Mexican Plum already grow wild in the area and drought tolerant. They are better than a feeder for Sept hogs and early bow season. I am focusing on planting trees that are already producing fruit otherwise I am just planting for the next guy most likely. Only one in two have been surviving the first summer for me.

I tried planting a couple Chinese chestnut trees last year. They start producing nuts much sooner than oaks and out produce them. They struggled over summer. Not planting more till I see how they look this spring if still alive. If they do ok, I may try planting a couple Dunstan.

Persimmon. I have planted both native and asian persimmon trees different years. I have been unable to get one to survive more than two summers. Could be from not being watered enough to get established, or could be a soil issue. Probably giving up on them as I would have trees producing pears in their place right now if I had just planted more pears instead.

I had a fuji apple that was just about to start producing, but a Buck got to it and destroyed it despite being in a pen. He rubbed the cambian layer off all the way around it and nearly pushed the whole thing out of the ground. I had rabbits do the same thing to another when I had used wire with holes big enough for a rabbit to fit through. All of my trees have a small pen around them, but I also added chicken wire around the trunk as a second layer of protection after that experience. Another late producing apple I planted, Granny Smith appears to be going to make it. These were related to a good deal on the trees, more than planned So I gave them a shot since both varieties are late producers.

Crab Apples look promising and will try some in the future, but if you plant any, research the varieties. Some are late producing and eaten by deer. Some are said to repel deer. I have Kerr, Callaway Ralph Shay, and Dolgo for varieties I am watching for. Most places want more for these trees than I am willing to pay.

I also planted a Pakistan mulberry which would be more for spring turkey season. And a white mulberry I transplanted. Both doing well and growing fast, but not producing yet.

This year I am doubling up and only planting pears for my best bang for the buck to survive. I think it's the best chance I have to get enough trees producing to someday benefit from hunting over them.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076114
02/13/18 12:35 AM
02/13/18 12:35 AM
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Sawtooth oak will produce acorns in about five years. Probably the quickest acorn producer of the oaks.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076117
02/13/18 12:36 AM
02/13/18 12:36 AM
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Pittsburg, Texas
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Nuttall oaks are a good fast growing oak. Planted 5 trees 3 years ago and 4 of the five are almost 10 ft tall now. The other one would have been the same size but the deer feeding in my yard kept eating it down. A creek bottom would be a great place to plant the Nuttall.







Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076351
02/13/18 03:00 AM
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Hope you have more luck than me. Planted about 6 trees a year for 5 years at my place in Dickens county. Apple, peaches, white oaks. Set up watering system and fertilized, Not sure why but 1/2 died every year then finally was invaded by grass hoppers. not only ate the leaves but the bark as well. Actually had several peach tress with fruit. Not there all the time didn't help. After grass hopper destruction gave up!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by Flashprism; 02/13/18 03:01 AM.
Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076361
02/13/18 03:16 AM
02/13/18 03:16 AM
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Pecan trees should do fine in that area. If you have any creeks, I would plant along the creek banks, so they get maximized water results "if and when" it rains. Deer go after pecans like they do acorns.


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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076479
02/13/18 07:00 AM
02/13/18 07:00 AM
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You better put a cage of some sort around those young trees or the bucks will rub all the bark off come the rut....

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076537
02/13/18 01:10 PM
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Obviously find out what will grow in your area. What comes to mind for me is Wild Plum trees, the deer eat on them all of the time. Maybe a hardy variety of pecans planted in low areas and certain variety of oaks (Shinnery)?

Good luck up


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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076598
02/13/18 02:10 PM
02/13/18 02:10 PM
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all the above, plus if you own the land, I highly recommend putting some LIVE OAKS in there too.
My pappy put some on his bare land in the feeder area a few decades ago - they are now 30' tall and bring in deer even if the feeder is empty. That spot has turned into a hunting heaven with surprise monster bucks showing up every year.

My 'new' place in north-texas is covered in post-oaks, burr-oaks, texas native persimmons, native mexican plums, and a few pecan trees. Even with all that, the dang deer are knawing on the 5-foot live oaks we planted to line our driveway (even the little 5-foot trees produce acorns) - you'll definitely need to put something around to protect them till they can establish - and if theres any way you can water them, they can grow REAL fast (for an oak) if watered.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076638
02/13/18 02:44 PM
02/13/18 02:44 PM
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Just like food plots, you have to find out what trees are going to grow in your area and the soil you plant them in. I have planted many trees from the big box stores just to watch the die. Research your trees. Especially fruit trees. Most fruit trees need a companion tree to help it produce, need certain cold hours and need much much care. I've cut all my fruit trees down because i was not there all the time and the other animals not deer were benefiting from the fruit.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Water-Rounds-24-in-Planting-Ring-100524517/206572324
http://www.plantra.com/GrowTubesForTrees...iAAEgIcHfD_BwE.
These two items and herbicide have greatly increased my survival ratings.
I only plant oaks now. Planted 4 fuyu persimmons this winter just as a trial.
The 2 oaks that grow the best and I hope the deer munch on them are saw tooth and swamp chestnutt oak. Both fast growers. Swamp chestnutt is native and is a white oak. Saw tooth is from china.
good luck with your trees

Dunstan chestnutt. I planted 4 years ago. Still surviving but struggling. Have not seen sufficient growth in order to get more.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076699
02/13/18 03:29 PM
02/13/18 03:29 PM
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If you own the land, then you might...might, consider white oaks, but I would not plant them myself. It just takes to long for them to produce any acorns at all. The white oak tree (Quercus alba) produces its first acorns after it is 20 years of age but has its peak production after 50 years of age.


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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7076739
02/13/18 03:53 PM
02/13/18 03:53 PM
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Mark, your area of Stonewall probably has high salt content. Do check with the county extension agent. Some trees will be impossible to grow. If they're not native to your area it will be a struggle. I know. Ive been babying trees for too long now, only to have them die. Pick your battles.

Last edited by Erathkid; 02/13/18 03:55 PM.

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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7077052
02/13/18 07:29 PM
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Mesquite. Don't they produce beans? roflmao bolt

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7077123
02/13/18 08:18 PM
02/13/18 08:18 PM
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Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
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we used to have a place out west of Llano and the old home place, house was long gone, had a number of large mature pear trees ... when the pears started falling, it was covered up with deer.

We planted fig trees down on a creek in south eastern Burnet county several years in a row, the deer nipped them off at the ground until we put up a small diameter pen around them. Only one tree made it and doesn't appear to bear fruit, not sure if fig requires cross pollination or not?


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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7077494
02/14/18 12:31 AM
02/14/18 12:31 AM
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I love figs. That is all.


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Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7077598
02/14/18 01:40 AM
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Are you looking for mainly mast crop or browse also? I know that hackberry and western soapberry grow up in that area from when I hunted at Jayton. Four-wing saltbush and vine ephedra also grows up in that area. Might check with Turner Seed Co in Breckenridge to see what seeds they have available. I know they had Four-wing Saltbush at one time. I would also contact the local NCRS agent and get his help. Many of them will help you find seed or plant sources in some areas. If Steve Nelle is still with the NRCS in San Angelo I would call him and get his feedback on what to plant. Moisture and soil quality will be two big hurdles up there. I would also suggest whatever you plant to do small enclosed areas to plant them in....like a 4"x4" 5'-6' tall by 20' long panel bent into a circle then tposted in place. That way your seedlings get a head start. I would do several of them as test plantings then move the panels to new areas with the stronger plants.



Re: Trees for deer [Re: stxranchman] #7077812
02/14/18 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Are you looking for mainly mast crop or browse also? I know that hackberry and western soapberry grow up in that area from when I hunted at Jayton. Four-wing saltbush and vine ephedra also grows up in that area. Might check with Turner Seed Co in Breckenridge to see what seeds they have available. I know they had Four-wing Saltbush at one time. I would also contact the local NCRS agent and get his help. Many of them will help you find seed or plant sources in some areas. If Steve Nelle is still with the NRCS in San Angelo I would call him and get his feedback on what to plant. Moisture and soil quality will be two big hurdles up there. I would also suggest whatever you plant to do small enclosed areas to plant them in....like a 4"x4" 5'-6' tall by 20' long panel bent into a circle then tposted in place. That way your seedlings get a head start. I would do several of them as test plantings then move the panels to new areas with the stronger plants.


Glad to see you posting, stx. Quality information, as always. up

Re: Trees for deer [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7077970
02/14/18 12:52 PM
02/14/18 12:52 PM
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Fall attractants are good. It keeps them there while you can hunt them. Pecans do very well in TX and produce nuts much sooner than acorns. You need two different varieties to get decent output though. Pecans need to be cross pollinated by a different variety to make a good crop. Basically if you canít put 3-4 trees of 2-3 varieties within 50yfs of each other, then pecans are a good bet. They are also very drought tolerant. They wonít produce many if any pecans in a drought, but thy will survive just fine.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: stxranchman] #7078059
02/14/18 02:07 PM
02/14/18 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Are you looking for mainly mast crop or browse also? I know that hackberry and western soapberry grow up in that area from when I hunted at Jayton. Four-wing saltbush and vine ephedra also grows up in that area. Might check with Turner Seed Co in Breckenridge to see what seeds they have available. I know they had Four-wing Saltbush at one time. I would also contact the local NCRS agent and get his help. Many of them will help you find seed or plant sources in some areas. If Steve Nelle is still with the NRCS in San Angelo I would call him and get his feedback on what to plant. Moisture and soil quality will be two big hurdles up there. I would also suggest whatever you plant to do small enclosed areas to plant them in....like a 4"x4" 5'-6' tall by 20' long panel bent into a circle then tposted in place. That way your seedlings get a head start. I would do several of them as test plantings then move the panels to new areas with the stronger plants.


I am looking for anything to improve my place and make it more attractive for the wildlife (mainly deer) My place is probably 80% cedars with the rest mesquites. I have several acre or two food plots(no rain this year didn't help). I don't necessarily need everything thing I add to produce just for hunting season. I do have access to water so I could water new trees to help them get established the first year. Any thing else you might recommend, I'm all ears.

Re: Trees for deer [Re: Russ79] #7078074
02/14/18 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
Sawtooth oak will produce acorns in about five years. Probably the quickest acorn producer of the oaks.


We have a lot of those in Alabama. They will carpet bomb the ground with acorns.


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