En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 16, 2012

From: Midland, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Trees
Title: Evergreens for a deer corridor in MI
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I am growing three rows of evergreens for a wildlife, deer travel corridor, and am looking for which trees grow well together and are shade tolerant of each other when planted at the same time, or at intervals. My soil is a thin layer of sandy loam, over clay, so it may be wet or dry at different times of the year,depending on weather extremes. I am ordering trees thru the local soil conservation district, some of my choices are Blue Spruce, White Spruce,Norway Spruce,White Pine,Red Pine, Austrian Pine, and Douglas Fir. I would appreciate your suggestions on which evergreen species to plant together, and any planting intervals and instructions you may have. I am thinking of 7 feet intervals to provide good cover.

ANSWER:

We applaud your efforts to provide a wildlife corridor joining fragmented habitat, even though you are helping a form of wildlife most gardeners are in constant conflict with!  Habitat loss is the greatest threat to species biodiversity and joining habitat fragments as you are planning to, does make a difference.

Because your question is somewhat out of our area of expertise, we checked with a forestry expert.

He recommends:  "planting 3 rows of Pinus resinosa (Norway pine) (image here) 7X7' spacing and when they get established (3-5 years) spotting in some of the mid-tolerants such as Picea glauca (White spruce) (image here)and/or Picea rubens (Red spruce) (image here) and/or Pinus strobus (Eastern white pine). The red pine will provide some cover/shade for the more tolerant species. The deer will find their way through and not likely browse on any of these species (although I have seen browsing on white pine by moose).

Red pine will do fine on fine to coarse sands if there is enough depth to not cause root restriction and the soils are not calcarious. Once establshed red pine will put on 2-3' of height per year in full sun.

White cedar and eastern hemlock are good species for holding up the snow load but are also a favorite food species for deer."

The other plants you have asked about are not native to your region so we do not recommend planting them.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern white pine
Pinus strobus

Eastern white pine
Pinus strobus

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Little birds for Little Rock
March 21, 2005 - I would like to plant flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies like. I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. What do you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Post-bloom period care for Pink evening primrose
June 28, 2011 - Hello, I live in Denton, TX. I introduced pink evening primrose as a ground cover to a xeriscaped section of my property a few years ago. I have pretty much left it alone and let it do its thing an...
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
June 13, 2014 - Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Plants for exotic pets
May 14, 2012 - I need to know what are some good native non-toxic plants for these species: Porcelain roach (Gyna lurida) from Kenya, Africa. Giant cave roach (Blaberus giganteus) from Central and South Americ...
view the full question and answer

Native Asclepias spp. for Monarchs in Connecticut
June 15, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in Naugatuck Connecticut and I want to hatch my own monarch butterflies. I know that Monarchs like to hatch eggs on Milkweed plants. There are many types of milkweed p...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center