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Author Topic: Fertilize soft mast trees and shrubs?  (Read 1336 times)

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Offline chain

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Fertilize soft mast trees and shrubs?
« on: November 22, 2010, 07:47:07 PM »
I've been releasing  soft mast trees and shrubs to enhance wildlifefoods potential. Some of these soft mast are, black cherry, black gum, persimmon, dogwood, honey locust, blackberry, mulberry, plum and a few others, including one invasive, honeysuckle.[probably not a soft mast] but deer and rabbits seem to like the food and cover it provides.

The question is, can soft mast be increased annually by fertilizing?

Offline WDH

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Re: Fertilize soft mast trees and shrubs?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 09:27:14 PM »
I don't know.  It probably has more to do with light than nutrition, although I am sure the nutrition will help some.  If you remove the competition from around the desired plants, that should help them in most cases.  Some trees like dogwood are understory species and like a little shade.  I would say reducing competition comes first before fertilization in terms of response.  That is what most of the research has shown.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Fertilize soft mast trees and shrubs?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 11:38:09 PM »
Getting some soil tests done might tell you something.

If the various nutrient levels are OK, then adding fertiliser gives little return. But if you have a deficiency in just one or two areas, then that may be restricting growth. Then you know what you need to target and can apply the correct mix instead of taking a random shotgun approach.

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Offline chain

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Re: Fertilize soft mast trees and shrubs?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2010, 08:31:53 AM »
Good idea on soil testing. This area once over topped with SLP and sweet gum. Afterlogging factors and some recent pine die-back, the soft-mast in particular, persimmon, was left yet struggle to produce more than a dozen or so fruits per tree in any year. All in all this managerie of soft-mast trees and shrubs has been very  successful in bringing in several species of birds and forest animals such as bobcat, raccoon and fox; my 'natural' food plots.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Fertilize soft mast trees and shrubs?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2010, 08:37:21 AM »
I do know that punching holes and filling them with fertilizer around the drip line on Pecan and Oaks will increase their fruit production.  I always just took a splitting maul in the Spring and poked holes every 3'-4' around the Pecan trees.
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