John's Journal...

More Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters and What to Prune

Trees from the North

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 1960s. 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 trees to attract wildlife.

Until a few years ago, Schichtel hated deer. The area’s deer loved the trees the nursery grew. To stop the deer from eating their trees, the nursery built an 8-foot-high, galvanized wire fence around the tree farm. In recent years, Schichtel and other members of hiClick to enlarges family have begun to hunt the deer on their property outside their fence. As a nurseryman first and a deer hunter second, he knows which trees and fruits deer in northern climates like best. “Apple trees seem to be the deer’s favorite fruit trees,” Schichtel reports. “We plant a lot of crab apple trees on our property where we can hunt the deer. The Baccata crab apple, which is a Siberian crab apple that’s cold-hardy, produces a yellowish fruit and often will hold its fruit into February. The big advantage to this crab apple tree is that when the snows come, the fruit remains at a level where the deer still can eat it. Deer begin feeding on these trees as early as October. These trees begin producing fruit within the first two years of planting, and continue producing fruit as they grow bigger. The Harvest Gold apple tree is another great pick for northern bowhunters. Like the Baccata crab apple, the Harvest Gold tree holds its fruit up out of the snow through February. Snowdrift crab apples also are productive for bowhunters durinClick to enlargeg the winter months.”

Schichtel’s Nursery’s top-eight apple-tree picks for northern hunters include:
*Indian Magic
*Red Splendor
*Macintosh (early-season apples)
*Lodi (early-season apples)
*Cortland (early-season apples)

Click to enlargeSchichtel reports that nut trees don’t produce as well in the North as they do in the South, but he suggests planting the red oak and the swamp white oak in the North. “These trees tend to drop their nuts in October, so they are ideal for the northern bowhunter. The English oak is another variety that produces nuts for northern deer. One important factor for fruit and nut trees survival in the North is that you must build fences around the trees to keep deer from destroying them. Remember, deer can stand on their hind legs and eat tree limbs and leaves up to 6- or 7-feet tall, especially in snow country. Therefore, the fence you build to protect your trees must keep the deer well away from them so the trees can mature. If you buy trees to plant for deer food, start off by buying the biggest trees you can afford. The bigger the trees, the less likely the deer are to destroy them.”

For more information on planting northern 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 1