Ideas for fall planting thicket/shrubs?

NW IL farm.

Thinking about a small habitat project for the fall. One of the things that the property lacks is a so called "covey headquarters" type habitat. The information I got from Univ of MO has some recommendations such as dogwood, hazelnut, plum. Thicket type woody cover.

USDA sheets are saying don't plant dogwood after May, but I can't find much other info otherwise. Anyone have any experience trying hazelnut or plum or other thicket type cover in the fall? Or should I just call it off and wait for spring.

[ETA: Pics added - see top of page 2 - things DO NOT look good :( ]
 
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1GB

New member
I've dotted my field with a handful of these as I see it as the best combination of pheasant and deer habitat for my area (old pasture with some shrubbery for winter cover options).

I've found spring planting to always work best for me. I plant as soon as I can get a shovel in the ground. It's not as fun as planting in a t-shirt, but planting as earlier as possible, gives the ground time to settle best around the roots before the shrubs wake up, helping it retain moisture best into the growing season.

Late fall planting would probably work as well, if you're doing it after the shrub is dormant, but for me I'd rather be hunting at that time!
 
Yeah, probably I should wait until Spring. Unless I can find someone who says they've been successful with late fall plantings I'll probably wait. Just that it would be nice to spread out the work some (its 2 hours away).

PF habitat person has worked up a timeline for spraying, disking and interseeding existing CRP from fall through spring.

I hope it helps. 20 acres of CRP and I never see a bird on the place. The place is sick with thick short brome grass, and the farmer really likes his mower. This fall may be time for a come to Jesus meeting on mowing. :mad:
 

Prairie Drifter

Active member
Several things: I do not like dogwood. It is actually classed as a tree and has a severe tendency to spread by rhizomes. Plums are great. They are just thorny enough to give the predators pause, but open enough at bobwhite level to allow movement. You might also look at choke cherry and fragrant sumac. If you are planting into grass, you will want to spray your site with glyphosate to set back the grass enough for the shrubs to establish. SM is correct, recent research in Missouri shows that bobwhite are far less able to use ungrazed/unburned native grasslands and are far less productive in them than if they are grazed and burned. Spray the brome with glyphosate after a killing frost when the temp gets back up around 70. It will release the NWSG and allow room for forbs. Getting the planting site sprayed now will allow for decent conditions to plant into and get a reasonable response from fall planting. Should probably wait until after September 15 to start.
 
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Several things: I do not like dogwood. It is actually classed as a tree and has a severe tendency to spread by rhizomes. Plums are great. They are just thorny enough to give the predators pause, but open enough at bobwhite level to allow movement. You might also look at choke cherry and fragrant sumac. If you are planting into grass, you will want to spray your site with glyphosate to set back the grass enough for the shrubs to establish. SM is correct, recent research in Missouri shows that bobwhite are far less able to use ungrazed/unburned native grasslands and are far less productive in them than if they are grazed and burned. Spray the brome with glyphosate after a killing frost when the temp gets back up around 70. It will release the NWSG and allow room for forbs. Getting the planting site sprayed now will allow for decent conditions to plant into and get a reasonable response from fall planting. Should probably wait until after September 15 to start.

Also seem them near cattle & cattle operating etc. They take care of there grass I seen some of that burn info in a QF packet I got I forget wear had tons of great info & success story's outta MO rotational burns were key & grazing... I seen in the spring the boom & bust in areas burnt & areas not etc. I never realized how much the quail use wood lots cottonwoods & oaks Savannah type habitat... Years ago in MN I seen them using creek bluff oak farmlands in extreme SE MN pretty much all gone now...
 
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Thanks for the info guys. This helps with the plan of attack.

Some things are going to be a compromise. The farmer mows, but does not want to burn. The initial CRP was all cool season redtop and timothy. The rest of the waste area is brome (i think - very new at this) as I said. My time is limited because the property is 2 hours away.

I am hopeful that the upcoming spray, disk, and interseed plan will help. I think with some shrubby thicket added to unused brome spots it will help more.

If you have any thoughts on sources for bare root plum plants im all ears.

I have never seen a quail or pheasant on the property. PF says there are a few quail and no pheasants in the general area. If I could get 1 covey to establish on the 20 +/- acres of CRP we have to work with Ill be ecstatic.
 
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Thanks for the info guys. This helps with the plan of attack.

Some things are going to be a compromise. The farmer mows, but does not want to burn. The initial CRP was all cool season redtop and timothy. The rest of the waste area is brome (i think - very new at this) as I said. My time is limited because the property is 2 hours away.

I am hopeful that the upcoming spray, disk, and interseed plan will help. I think with some shrubby thicket added to unused brome spots it will help more.

If you have any thoughts on sources for bare root plum plants im all ears.

I have never seen a quail or pheasant on the property. PF says there are a few quail and no pheasants in the general area. If I could get 1 covey to establish on the 20 +/- acres of CRP we have to work with Ill be ecstatic.
Gurney's nursery & if KS sell em u mite get better deal from them... Peep the low area bush ideas thread mite help a Lil...
 

Miforester

Member
I would also suggest a native crabapple or hawthorn to your list of plantings they can provide a nice thicket and thorny enough to provide good habitat. Good annual producers of soft mast. Also would give you a variety of species, so your mast production isn't feast or famine.
 
Well here it is the good, bad and ugly. Mostly bad. It appears to me that the constant cutting of the CRP stands by my farmer have turned what was supposed to be redtop and timothy into a rank stand of grass. Maybe this is fescue, and not the brome I thought? Good Lord this is going to take a lot to fix. Ugh. Feeling pretty defeated. There is maybe 5% open understory on all of the CRP.



You can see it has all been mowed. That is supposed to happen this year in order to disk and interseed. Unfortunately my farmer has been doing this to the CRP every year. Nothing can live in this. I think I'm going to have to work fast to find someone to dethatch this before anything else is done? I don't see all that dead grass helping.



About the only good news is that the drainage ditch/river seems to have a lot of what I think is elderberry in it. That is supposed to be quail friendly based on the reading I've done. Perhaps some cuttings to form a few bigger thickets? Or maybe if we kill the other grasses it will spread?



A few wildflowers too. A bright spot in an otherwise dreary day trip out to the farm. :)


 
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