By Haynes Shelton
Lately there’s been a resurgence of interest in planting trees for wildlife. While reforestation certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s exciting to see people improving their timber stands by introducing tree varieties that are both beneficial and highly preferred by game animals. In time, fruit and mast trees can drastically increase the attraction level of your hunting property while also providing dynamite stand sites throughout the season. Keep in mind though, most trees take years to establish before producing sizeable crops. However, your investment will pay off for generations of land stewards who follow behind you.
In most parts of the country, trees can be successfully planted during the spring or fall months. Before planting, be sure to select tree varieties that will thrive in your hardiness zone. Most fruit and mast trees prefer areas with ample sunlight and well-drained soils. It’s common for some fruit trees to require companion trees for pollination and fruit production, so plan accordingly. Look to establish new trees along the edges of food plots or near bedding and staging areas. If possible, plant multiple varieties of trees that produce fruit and mast throughout the fall and winter months. By doing so, you’ll create a virtual buffet of food sources that are adored by wildlife throughout the hunting season.