Todd walks us through his latest tree-planting project on his new hunting property. Follow along as he tries to create the perfect whitetail habitat!
Todd’s Dream Hunting Property | Part 03 – The Creek!
Todd’s Dream Hunting Property | Part 2 – The Clear Cut!
Todd’s Dream Hunting Property | Part 1-
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In the last video series you saw we were Working on that stream Bank project that Was probably one of the biggest Construction projects that I've ever Done in my life to be honest over a Hundred Semi-loads of rock came in here Excavators Ben's crew did a great job Shay and Mary and everybody and Beth all Of us work together to be able to get This project done here and I'll tell you What I am so happy with the way it came Out we're finally starting to get some Rains now so the stuff that we've Planted along the edges are starting to Come in and it's really starting to hold Everything together I've got a couple Cameras on some of those crossings that We put so I'll put a few videos up at The end of this video of what deer have Been crossing the stream Bank spots that We created for them if you haven't had a Chance to catch up on the other videos Make sure you do that because we did a Big clear-cut project which is over my Left shoulder here that's really Starting to thicken up good last time I Drove by with my tractor I busted a few Deer out of it so that was exciting to See and before that I gave you an update On a couple of the different kill plots On the property that are really starting To thicken up now we went in there with The fecon mulching head we opened them
Up we gave these deer diff different Varieties of food to be able to eat Change their habitat up and man oh man Do they gravitate to those spots quickly But today we're here to talk about tree And shrub plantings I'm going to show You some of the things that we've done Here to be able to get the optimal Success out of these trees to be able to Make sure that they're going to have Their best chance of becoming a forest Every time Kurt and I film The Sun I Feel like is just beaming on us but here We are we are standing On this 1.8 acre tree planting now Remember this big bottom here had no Cover in it it was all being farmed we Came in here we put this you know Basically this master plan together and With the way this Creek makes this Bend Right here I wanted to have a forest Here it's just going to make a great Bedding area these deer are going to be Able to basically Be able to hang out here all day Sit in the Sun have good cover of course In years to come and then the food plots Aren't going to be too far from here so This is just going to be a great spot to Be able to sneak into and be able to Hunt without always disturbing the deer This is 1.8 Acres this is a Hardwoods Planting so I'm going to show you some Of the things that we're doing to
Maintain this planning so we can Optimize the success of these trees in The future So the first thing that we did is the Forester came in with his crew and we Ended up planting these trees wide Enough apart so we can get the mowers in Between each one of the roads that's Critical for maintaining these trees Because what you want to do is you want To make sure that you can get in here Check on them Clean out any weeds that get around them Over time but in the early stages you Really do want this growth that you see Behind me this particular tree is caged But this growth here ultimately Camouflages the tree if I get in here And I start looking around I'll be able To find a tree here pretty quickly Within this row but the key is you just Don't want it to be so mowed and so open That the deer can just be like Tree tree because they will just devour Them It is impossible to be able to cage Every single tree or to be able to put a Tube around which we'll show you by tree Pros but you want to do the best that You can to ensure that from a percentage Perspective that at least 60 70 percent Of these trees are going to make it to Maturity which is ultimately for me I Think would be a huge success so let's
Go ahead and take a look at some of These trees So this is an example that we've talked About if you've watched the show enough You see us doing the caging of the trees This is taking you know a rebar steak a Heavy cage we go ahead and we roll it Out make the cages and we basically Pound these steaks into the ground and When you do this here I can ensure you That this tree here's success rate is Going to go up by tenfold you come on Down here of course you're always going To have weeds In the tree The cage but the bottom line is when you Get down in here and you look through The tree there's this beautiful Oak Right here And he's completely protected by this Cage but this Oak is absolutely perfect And the deer are not going to knock this Cage over so when you can cage them if You're not doing as big of a project Maybe you're just putting in three or Four Oaks maybe you're trying to re Create a little Savannah in an area that You're opening up take the time and get The heavier cage a couple of metal Stakes I what a lot of guys are starting to do Now too is instead of using metal stakes And I'm going to try this in my next Go-around is you can get fiberglass
Steaks and they're significantly cheaper I usually buy these in 20 foot lengths And then we cut them down to five foot Heights and that usually works out Perfect for these so consider looking at The fiberglass Stakes because uh I think You're gonna be able to save almost four Or five bucks of sticks so that's going To make a big difference so if you keep Coming down here again the trees are Planted in the row now you've just Reached an area here where Um you know there's no cage so here's The tree now we've been in this terrible Terrible drought now look at this tree Here unfortunately This tree died but what you can see Happening on this particular tree Is It's trying to re-put on growth the Drought has been so bad here this year Um that I've tried all different crazy Ways of getting in here and watering These trees and I bought a trash pump I Tried sticking it into The creek I went ahead and tried to do that and Boy oh boy I tell you what it is a lot Of work when those hoses get going I Give a shout out to any firemen that's Out there because these skinny arms are Not going to work for being a fireman I Tried hanging onto that two inch trash Holes for about two three hours one day
Trying to water all these trees and it Was a nightmare so in this particular Case here it's not that this tree has Failed it's gonna put on that second Chance here it's really pushing hard so In a situation like this here what you Want to do is you basically just take Your knife and you want to kind of get a New leader going so I'm just going to Come down here and I'm just going to Get that off of there and now this guy Here will get going again he's putting On some new Leaf growth and hopefully They'll usually do that like once or Twice And then after that they just give up Because they can't support the root System you know through the leaves so Hopefully this guy here is going to make It now this was not because of browse Pressure this here was just a situation Where this tree here just didn't have Enough moisture and died the one that You saw in the cage which literally is Three or four feet away Um is doing fantastic obviously those Roots just got a little bit more water Or was lucky enough to uh was reached by My uh hose and I hit that one a little Bit longer so let's go ahead now And take a little bit further walk this Is another important thing you got to Pay attention with tree plantings too You know here you are you want to build
A forest I mean I'm standing here the Foresters guys work so hard to get all These trees in here perfectly and Literally I'm standing here by Kurt and I can see this beautiful Oak in this Cage next to me the one here that Obviously didn't get enough water but Then you got these freaking You've got a tree right here of course The ones that we don't want you Literally have got one two three trees That have better growth than the oak Trees That are already coming up so I'm gonna Have to really keep an eye on these guys Here because these are not the varieties That we want these guys here are gonna I'm gonna end up cutting down And y'all just have to come through here In time I don't mind them right now Because again if I'm creating some Canopy I'm creating some cover to kind Of give the deer some other brows reduce The pressure on the better trees I'm Totally fine with that but eventually What's going to happen is these trees Here I don't know what these are the Mulberries or box elder box Elders yeah Box Elders are just they're just they're They're vigorous Growers but again it is A tree it's not a horror being no it's Not an oak it's not some of these nice Hickories and things that I have down Here but
They're going to grow three four five Six times faster than these Oaks here But I'll let them get up it allows those Other trees to kind of grow with them Come with a chainsaw we'll just cut them And then give them a squirt We'll be able to kill them so let's keep Moving along here so Absolutely want to keep these these Mo These Rose mode I've been doing a lot of Mowing Um it just makes it so much easier to Dive in here and work on the trees but We're going to go ahead and behind me Here you can see are in front of me here You can see all the the tubes this is my First year doing the tubes I've talked to a lot of different people Who've had some good success with them I'm just trying to do everything that I Can the problem with the caging is it Does get very expensive this is an Alternative I've had some people tell me That they've had great luck with it I've Heard other people that say it wasn't as Good I think the cool thing is over time You know the technology is getting Better I think the Plastics are getting Better and I mean I'm literally just Standing here and I haven't been in this Uh in this little plot here for a while But I'm looking over my shoulder and I Mean the growth that I can see inside That tube already looks pretty
Impressive so let's go take a look at This too well this is uh one of the Trees by that tree Pros Um I'm gonna go ahead and take the two Blocks so you can see it so in this case Here before I take the tube off this is A five foot rebar again I'm going to be Switching to trying out the uh the Fiberglass ones because I think I could Save some money and it will just help Reduce the cost but basically you've got This great plastic tube there's venting Holes in it the sunlight can still get In it and it really just forces this Tree to really want to grow up and I Mean I mean again I haven't taken the Two balls yet but I'm pretty excited you Can see the growth of this tree is Almost literally up to here I mean this Is probably one of the Highest trees around that I see versus The others so there's no doubt it really Promotes them to want to grow upwardly Let's go ahead and pull this off it Comes with a couple of zip ties that you Put on it also comes with this little Thing here it looks kind of funny people Like with that you can put little hats On your tree cages this is super Important because what happens is baby Birds Will come in the land right here and if A baby bird falls in there it can't get Out so what this does here is this just
Protects any little birds From falling in the tube let's go ahead And pull this off okay get this back on Take a look at this tree So here we go Tree looks good and healthy Definitely coming up pretty good it's Gonna be hard to get that tube back on Now that I did that but the tree looks Great so very very very impressed with What I'm seeing so far now again I just Started with These tubes but definitely looking Pretty good I mean there's no girdling down at the Bottom because we make sure that we are Getting this piece down in so squirrel Squirrels so mice can't get underneath There and start chewing the bottoms of The trees but so far this guy here looks Really really really good let me go Ahead and just slide this back on this Isn't going to be very easy to do I Might have to come back and do this Getting these tree plantings to go is Not easy it's super important that you Maintain them you can't just plant them And leave them I realize that if you're Planting big big big Acres I mean maybe Three four five six acres yeah there's a Point where it just comes down to odds Here is one of the trees that is not Tubed is not caged okay so right off the Bat the first thing I'm seeing is browse
Pressure you 100 can see it this little Oak has been browsed which again there's Nothing you can do the deer are going to Find some of these trees but this weed Here I call this weed here the UFC Of Weeds I mean this guy here is a choke Out capacity of something like I've Never seen before it's a Vine it's Called vineweed this thing here is the Nastiest Vine that I've ever seen you Can just see there's a whole chunk of it Right here I mean it's just a big bind And as I yank it out here it has been Going around and around this little oak Tree all the way up to the top if you Come back and not check these trees I Guarantee it next year this guy here Would have been choked out now those UFC Fighters get people to choke on a lot Quicker than the that vine does but I'm Telling you it's unbelievable how there Are so many things that just want to Kill your trees so you got to make sure That when you plant a planting like this This is 1.8 Acres I am purposely mowing It so I can come down here take an hour One evening take a stroll pull some Weeds out of the cages look wherever Those Vines are wrapping around the Trees to be able to get them to be as Healthy as I can again you're going to Have browse pressure there's nothing you Can do that's why when you plant them
You keep the population up as high as You can that way you're guaranteed to Have some success rate they're not going To get them all the best tip that I can Give you for also helping your tree Plantings along and managing weeds is if You know you're going to do a tree Planting what you want to do The fall before the tree planting you Want to come in with a perennial rye and A Timothy grass I wish I I actually did That in this plot here but I made one Little mistake that I won't make again And I'm going to get to that in a second First what you want to do is let's say You're going to have a tree planting Let's just say it's going to be a Quarter acre half acre it doesn't matter You want to go in the fall you want to Kill it with kill it with Roundup okay Make sure it's Stone dead and you want To plant Timothy and you want to plant Perennial rye Get that stuff established when you come Back in the spring that's going to be Growing green it's going to be looking Good and that's when you do your tree Plantings When your Forester shows up to do the Tree plantings you go ahead and have Them plant right into that Timothy and That perennial rye what you do not want To do at that point is do a herbicidal Application along the tree rows because
What ends up happening is you'll see Behind me and we'll get to it in a Minute is it is so strong and it works Well and it does give those trees an Immediate uh level of protection from The weeds but what stinks is once that Wears away and it does It just the number one thing that grows Is what weeds weeds weeds and I promise You it's always the weeds you don't want It's the thistles it's the cockle Burrs It's all the nasty stuff poison hemlock All the things that you don't want in Those cages especially when you start Reaching your arms in there and trying To pull all the stuff out so when you Put down that perennial rye and that Timothy and it's growing what happens is You go plant those trees right in there It holds back all those weeds it's a lot Easier to mow it still provides Protection for the trees and it's Something that you can maintain and that Perennial rye will keep receding itself For multiple years giving those trees a Trance to really get high and to keep The weeds at Bay I promise you that is The best tip that I know when it comes To planting trees and every future tree Plant that I will do I will execute that Because if not you'll have nothing but a Ton of weeds growing Within Your cages and in your plants again if It's not the Deer
If it's not the vines Then you got Japanese beetles I mean look at that they absolutely just Wore that Sycamore leaf out It is It's not easy being a tree it's not easy Being a big buck either There's definitely This is that one spot where we came with The excavator and just made a nice easy Transition so that bank So they could avoid the Rocks but yet Still have a nice spot to come up and Sure enough they're already starting to Use it