Longleaf pine plantation

jug

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I can honestly say that my longleaf pine plantation has definitely helped the wildlife here at my place in Harnett. I have seen more deer and turkeys in the last 2 years. We cut our trees on 23 acres and planted longleaf pines. There has been more Turkey and Deer sign since we cut the trees in 2016.
I tagged out in 2017 and this year here in Harnett during Turkey season and my brother killed a really nice 8 ptr in 2017 and I got a nice 9 ptr last year.
We planted additional native grasses after the tree planting from the NC forestry service.
Best food plot I ever did do.;)29292
 
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Mack in N.C.

Old Mossy Horns
Thanks for Planting them. I wish more people would plant them. Jordan lake has 4 areas where they have been planted and 1 of them according to man in charge is the best fire maintained forest you will see in the piedmont but it is a hike in there. No public rd access.
 
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Downeast

Ten Pointer
That's what's so nice about longleaf pine. You can grow timber AND manage for wildlife at the same time.
 
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darkthirty

Old Mossy Horns
We gonna burn every other year from now on. We gonna do a winter burn in 2020, and then plant some more grasses.
What’s the reasoning behind planting the grasses? Most recommendations I always hear from biologists is more of a “wait and see” approach when it comes to native warm season grasses/forbes due to what is most likely already in the seed bank. I’m asking to learn, I’m not questioning your practices.
I think it’s awesome. I have also planted the long leafs cousin, shortleaf pines on my property under the Shortleaf pine initiative. NRCS has reimbursed me ~120% of costs. My biologist all recommended to “see what’s already in the see bank” instead of planting the NWSG’s.
 

para4514

Eight Pointer
Will be good to hear what Jug's decision is based on, but I have seen commonly recommended site prep herbicide prescriptions set back vegetation for a long period of time. This especially seems to impacts sites with deep sandy soils and can make burning a challenge for several years. Seeing more folks recommend backpack site prep herbicide applications to limit impact on existing groundcover and allow a short fire return interval to meet landowner's goal.
 

jug

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
The more grasses the better the burn which will encourage native legumes. My local county Forest ranger recommends more grasses. He said the better the burn the more invasive species such as blackberries will be consumed.
 

para4514

Eight Pointer
The NCFS plugs are a good way to get grasses in the stand, but if you need more coverage at a lower cost you may want to check with Garrett wildflower seed company in Four Oaks. Drag the barren areas to scarify the soil then broadcast little bluestem and splitbeard bluestem seed to compliment wiregrass plugs may be a good option. A couple pounds per acre will jump-start things. Garrett's Sensitive Pea (Chamaecrista nictinis) is a nice native low stature partridge pea that preforms well for longleaf groundcover. Not near as aggressive as other partridge pea species. All these species probably originated from seed collected within 70 miles of Harnett County.
 
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QBD2

Old Mossy Horns
The longleafs ain't got a thing in the world to do with your deer and turkeys.
Yet;)

Any old cutover will do :)
 
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Southern

Eight Pointer
The longleafs ain't got a thing in the world to do with your deer and turkeys.
Yet;)


Any old cutover will do :)
I thought I was the only one thinking this but this is exactly correct. I have planted and managed alot of long leaf over the past 30 years. There is nobody that loves it as much as I do, but other than an easy place for deer to chase does, I am not sure it benefits deer much. Birds, yes.
 

para4514

Eight Pointer
Thought about this from the initial post, but I did not see the need to stifle Jug's excitement. Correct at this stage any open area (field, cutover or right of way) can provide this bump in deer and turkey use Jug described. In fact, areas not treated with broadcast site prep herbicide cocktails would probably provide even better cover and food sources for turkey and deer. Other than future roosting sites planting a pine tree provides little benefit for deer and turkey in NC. Trees grow, casting more shade as well as suck up nutrients and water, competing with and suppressing many of the plants that are attracting many critters. How many landowners are willing or able to let their land stand "idle" not producing some kind of commodity?

Future timber return, pine straw production or simply qualifying for reduced property taxes through the present use value tax programs are all considerations and factors that impact landowner decisions and wildlife benefit on a tract of land. Longleaf is one of the best options to promote wildlife and meet some level of economic value over the life of the stand. It all comes down to management. If you are maximizing production value; dense stands, closed canopies, broad spectrum herbicide applications and straw raking will reduce wildlife benefit. Open stands, selective herbicide use, burning costs and excluding straw raking will all impact economics. Each person has to decide what they want out of their land.

Long term, Jug's management will dictate how long and to what extent he sees increased wildlife use. Burning young longleaf and promoting native legumes and grasses is heading in a good direction. Keep up the good work.
 
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