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Author Topic: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions  (Read 4883 times)

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Offline mesquite buckeye

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CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« on: September 11, 2013, 06:11:04 PM »
15 years ago we put about 25 acres of the Missouri farm into a CRP tree planting. The land is rolling with very deep (over 30 ft) clay loam/loess soil. The soil is rated highly erodable, an understatement. We get ruts 4 ft deep in one season if we plant corn. Over half of the land has been severely depleted of topsoil, the subsoil remaining is quite acidic in these parts of the fields. Even weeds have trouble growing there. The better parts of the field are still relatively fertile and we can grow many kinds of hardwoods and red cedar thrives throughout, including on the poor areas, but grows more slowly. Over time, the needlecast from the cedars neutralizes the acidity and after 20-40 years most native hardwoods will again recolonize these poor areas.

I built a series of terraces throughout the fields when we first planted the area to help reduce the erosion. The terraces have made a big difference for erosion, both locally and downstream. At that time, I was told there can be no trees planted on the terraces, as the roots will make them fail.

They are now telling me I have to plant the terrace areas to qualify for inclusion in the program.

The best soils grew up in weeds 9 ft tall the first year, which really hurt the plantings there.

The medium quality soils were less weedy and the trees did well, only to get ravaged by deer.

The poorest soils had decent tree growth the first year, as we tried to pick poor soil trees for these sites, but the oaks on these areas have only grown to about 1-2 feet tall in 15 years. We planted a mix of western pines and other conifers on about an acre of this land one year before the CRP planting. The species that made it got hit hard by deer, and many were killed. With time and some protection, they are now above deer browsing height. The following are doing well to great: ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, southwestern white pine. All the firs died, sequoias died after a year, douglas fir died, dawn redwood died, incense cedar died. Bald cypress lives but isn't happy, only 4 ft tall in 16 years.

From the planting, the best hardwoods we found for the poor soils were black locust and honey locust. Sweetgum also did fairly well. Several oaks lived, but just seem to sit there surviving. Red cedar starts out slow on the worst spots, but gets just a little more vigorous each year, and the deer don't eat them much. They range from 4-8 ft tall on these spots.

Here is where I could use some input/help:

The poor land appears to be really good pine land, but we are too far north for the southern pines, including shortleaf, and though white pine grows really fast here, the deer wiped out every one of them I planted last time. My best ponderosa pine is now over 20 feet and going strong. They seem less palatable and may be more survivable than white pine. The deer also wiped out the red pine last time. Have I missed a pine that would do well here? My other alternative would be to plant all the poor land to cedars and locusts. I am open to suggestions of other hardwoods also.

Second replant: terrace sides and adjacent unplanted medium soil quality areas. These areas were limed at the last planting and generally more fertile. I'm thinking I could go with a high diversity mix of walnut, oaks, cherry, hackberry, osage orange and hickories, with scattered cedars. I am open to any suggestions here. We have white ash on site, but with EAB on the way, it seems pointless at this time.

Third area: Terrace bottoms which vary from somewhat moist to downright soggy in spots. These spots have also been limed. Suggestions?

I will talk with the govt forestry guy in mid-late October, so need to be armed with information so he doesn't push for trees that won't work.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have.
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 12:05:26 PM »
So far I have only come up with pin oaks for the wet bottoms. :(
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline chain

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 07:59:32 PM »
What about some good 'ol sweet gum, in the bottoms? Of course there's sycamore, cottonwood, and up on the slopes possibly a walnut plantation could be planned, or Chinese Chestnut. You might do a search of native trees; the local Soil Conservation Service NRCS may have growth ratings of tree species relative to your local soils.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 08:32:20 PM »
Duh. I hadn't really thought about sycamores in the wet spots. They might be good. Cottonwoods get so gigantic I'm thinking they would swamp out adjacent stuff. I'm definitely thinking walnuts on the better spots. The better soils on my farm grow really good walnut.

Thanks for your thoughts. ;D 8) 8) 8)
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline chain

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 08:42:30 PM »
Here's a few more for consideration...River Birch, Silver leaf Maple, Cypress, Swamp white oak, sassafras possibly.

Offline GATreeGrower

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 09:22:38 PM »
Cypress and oak in the wet land I think

Offline mad murdock

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 02:20:05 AM »
Out here red alder does well in wet areas, ( in the birch family I believe), how about white cedar? For the better soil areas, to curb weed growth, and promote tree growth you shod be applying some kind of herbicide till the trees get up past the weeds and can close the crown over the undergrowth a bit, would see a huge difference in stem size and overall tree growth over a hands off plan, IMO.
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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 12:47:07 PM »
Here's a few more for consideration...River Birch, Silver leaf Maple, Cypress, Swamp white oak, sassafras possibly.

River birch and swamp white oak sound good. Silver leaf maple often gets hurt out there in drought years. I have found one sassafrass one year, just a little sprout sized one. I'm wondering if they don't like the ground. 8 miles away it is everywhere.
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 12:53:42 PM »
Out here red alder does well in wet areas, ( in the birch family I believe), how about white cedar? For the better soil areas, to curb weed growth, and promote tree growth you shod be applying some kind of herbicide till the trees get up past the weeds and can close the crown over the undergrowth a bit, would see a huge difference in stem size and overall tree growth over a hands off plan, IMO.

Alder could work. Can white cedar take drought and 105F?  I used Simazine on the first planting for the first year only. We have so many deer it just makes it easier for them to find the trees and pull them out by the roots, which they do with the pines, or browse them to stubs, as they do with the hardwoods.

Also the farm is 1375 miles away from me, so hard to get there more than once a year, so follow up on treatments is tough.

Our best tree growth started when the Korean lespedeza took over the open areas. Yes, it is invasive, but it helps to confine the deer to trailed areas and allows the trees to get a chance to get over deer height. Also stops erosion dead and improves soil fertility. As soon as the trees get a little bigger, they will shade it out and bye bye invasive. There are also a variety of native lespedezas, so to me not a big deal. Also, impossible to get rid of. Might as well make lemonaid. ;D
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 01:34:44 PM »
Cypress and oak in the wet land I think

There was a cypress at my parents' home that did well, but the ones in the poor land have hardly grown. Maybe if it is wetter...

I'm planning on some pin oak. If they get pruned young, I think they could make good lumber. I'm open to more oaks that might work there. The forest is naturally heavy with shingle oak, but this one likes to get a lot of shakes and the ones with any size often have hollows in them.
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline semologger

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 02:42:59 PM »
where abouts in mo is your farm i would be happy to go deer hunt. i mean check on the the trees for ya when ya cant it. :D

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2013, 03:26:11 PM »
That's funny, I keep getting offers from people who want to hunt for free. ;D

Near Armstrong. :snowball:
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline semologger

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2013, 11:09:30 PM »
i hunt a little just south of boonevile wife is from there. and wifes aunt lives in new franklin. the skidder i just got came from a guy in fayette. alot of misspelling there but you know where im talking about. there does seem to be a few nice walnuts in that area. dont know much about hedge as that seems to grow there also fairly good.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2013, 12:50:00 PM »
I usually drive through both those towns on the way there from Tucson. ;D The guy I rent the sawmill from lives in New Franklin.
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 09:01:57 PM »
Just got a letter from NRCS re CRP telling me exactly how I will be planting my trees and which ones to plant. Not allowed to plant any red cedar, the best adapted and native tree for the site. Not allowed to plant honey locust, also native and well adapted. The list includes trees that will work in the good sites, none for the wet sites and none that will work well or at all in the poor sites. I was told that no plan would be in place until after I got out there and met with their forestry guy. Guess I better give them a call. I hate one size fits all government. Argh. >:(
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2013, 09:06:12 AM »
Here is the farm, FYI.
 

 
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2013, 01:17:51 AM »
Just got word from one of the American chestnut blight resistance breeders, saying maybe I could get 700-800 of their trees for growout in the CRP land. I think they want to test out their materials there. Pretty cool. I had contacted a bunch of people and had pretty much given up after a long series of no's. Turns out one of the people forwarded my inquiry to one of the chestnut breeders. Ask and you shall receive.

Pretty cool. ;D
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2013, 06:22:28 AM »
Black locust probably on the dry poor soil. They use them on mine spoilage.

White cedar would be doomed by deer and heat.

Around here, burr oak grow on non tillable wetter ground in the Grand Lake area, probably elevated spots mostly though. Up here the snow shoe hare are real hard on oak seedlings. They strip them every winter, returning to the same ones.  :-\

I read that choke cherry was used a lot for stabilizing soils on these type of farms with high erosion.

Around here it just grows wild on fence rows, don't need planted. Tagging along are dogwoods, mountain ash and high bush cranberry. If you want grouse hunting, just walk them rows. :D
Move'n on.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2013, 10:11:00 AM »
I agree with the black locust. It has grown on the poor sites in the previous planting. Just got to get the govt guy to agree. Bur oaks do really well here if the soil isn't really bad, and the deer really beat them up, but they eventually get tall enough.

No grouse, turkeys.

Our best tree, if you could call one tree that, for the eroded sites is redcedar. Honeylocust also does well, but you have to get them from Kansas, as Missouri seems to think they are evil, along with redcedar.

Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: CRP Aforestation Do Over, looking for tree suggestions
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2013, 03:04:23 PM »
Yeah, turkeys I suppose. Up here in maple country, more importantly birch, we have grouse, no turkeys. We see wild turkeys in Maine when on the I95 and getting near Bangor where the red oaks start to appear in large numbers.
Move'n on.


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