John's Journal...

More Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters and What to Prune

More Pruning Fruit Trees for Wildlife

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Mark Schichtel of Schichtel’s Nursery in Springville, New York, has been planting, growing, and shipping fruit and nut trees all over the nation since the late 60s. Schichtel’s Nursery plants 130,000 trees each year and many of their trees are bought by hunters to plant for wildlife. Today, Schichtel will share his tips for pruning fruit treClick to enlargees to attract wildlife.

The Schichtels sell their trees to garden centers across the nation, and Schichtel says that a fruit tree will begin to bear fruit in from three to four years. They don’t produce food for wildlife as quickly as planting a green field will. However, they can produce a crop every year, sometimes for as long as 50 to 80 years, depending on the type tree you buy to plant, making them very valuable. To protect your investment in your fruit and nut trees, Schichtel recommends putting PVC pipe or some type of plastic wrap around the tree trunk in the fall to keep the deer from rubbing their antlers against the trees and possibly killing the young trees. “We attach plastic wrap with a staple gun,” Shcichtel says. “Then we take the plastic wrap off during the spring of the year so the birds can pick-off any insects from the trees and eat them. Too, the plastic wrap keeps the bucks from damaging the trees. Without the PVC pipe or the plastic wrap around the trees, the bucks can cause serious damage. Once your trees are about 4 or 5 inches in diameter, you don’t have to wrap them with plastic wrap every year. Even if deer rub against the tree, they usually won’t girdle it (rub off all the bark all the way around the tree) and kill the tree.”

Schichtel says that you should always cut off dead branches because they attract bugs and other pests that can damage your trees. When dead branches fall off, they usually break or tear looseClick to enlarge from the live tree and put scars on the tree that are much worse than when you cut off that Click to enlargebranch. Also, if you cut the branch off, the tree reacts by putting buds on that have been lying dormant around that spot that will fill in that spot and create more branches. “Although you can’t get immediate results from fruit trees that you can from planting small-grain food plots, you can get a much longer-lasting food source that requires much-less maintenance and cost when you plant fruit and nut trees,” Schichtel advises. “For best results, always plant your fruit and nut trees where they will get about 75% sunlight, and remove other competing trees from around them. Field edges, pastures, abandoned fields, and old log yards are great places to plant fruit and nut trees.”

To learn more about planting trees for deer, call 716-592-9383, or write to Mark Schichtel at Schichtel’s Nursery, 7420 Peters Road, Springville, NY 14141

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Check back each day this week for more about "More Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters and What to Prune"

Day 1: Trees from the North
Day 2: What About Persimmons?
Day 3: Pruning Fruit Trees for Wildlife
Day 4: More Pruning Fruit Trees for Wildlife
Day 5: More on Pruning Trees for Wildlife



Entry 403, Day 4