This week as an act of defiance of the extremely cold weather, I turned my thoughts to the coming spring and placed orders for a few replacement fruit trees for my orchard—I ran over one with the tractor and killed another by getting too much glyphosate on the base of the trunk. If you are interested in more information about fruit tree orchards for wildlife food plots, you can read an article that I wrote last year on that subject (click here). In addition to my fruit tree order, I placed a fairly large order for conservation grade potted 4-5 ft. oak trees. It will require “all-hands-on-deck” for my family and me when these trees arrive for planting. The oak trees will be planted in areas of my timber that I did hack-n-squirt treatments last summer and fall to kill undesirable trees according to my forest management plan. If you are interested in more information about “hack-n-squirt” methods for timber stand improvement (TSI), you can read an article that I wrote last year (click here).
I am also working on a list of shrubs that I will soon be ordering. I have a special interest this year in taking steps to improve the habitat to benefit deer. My motivation comes from my concern about the current condition of the deer herd in the area of a couple farms we hunt and thus I am planning to do more habitat work than ever before this winter and early spring. In addition to tree plantings, habitat activities will include hinge cutting to thicken areas in the timber and planting shrubs in transitional areas for cover and browse.
Order while supplies last
Because many nurseries can run short on inventories, now is the time to place orders for trees and shrubs for spring plantings. The following is a list of suppliers that I have used over the years. If you have other good sources, please post a comment and share them with others. In addition to the nurseries listed below, I have also got trees and shrubs through various Illinois Dept. of Conservation programs, contact your local NRCS office for potential opportunities.
Forest Keeling Nursery: Trees, (including conservation grade), shrubs, and many perennial prairie plants. Located in Elsberry, MO. http://www.forrestkeeling.com
Chief River Nursery Co: Bare Root Cedars. Located in Grafton, WI. http://www.chiefrivernursery.com
Chestnut Hill Tree Farm: Dunstan chestnut trees. www. http://www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com/
Note: Chestnut Hill Tree farm also offers Dunstan chestnut trees through select Walmart , Rural King and Farm King stores. They will list these select store locations on their website as well as post shipment dates . At this time, this information has not been posted. Check their website weekly if interested. Trees go fast, I found I needed the call the stores and check availability and then have them hold the trees for me to ensure they would be there when I arrived.
Missouri Dept. of Conservation State Forest Nursery: Seedling trees and shrubs http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/seedling-orders-and-planting-guide/seedling-order-how
Fruit trees: see my blog post on orchards (click here).