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 Trees Questions

A tree to replace a pin oak in PA
January 25, 2011 - My 120 yr old pin oak has root and butt rot, 5 of 13 roots dead by pressure testing. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I want to plant a root rot resistant tree, either evergreen, fir or deciduous. The tree is 9...
view the full question and answer

Live Oak Leaf Drop in North Carolina
April 27, 2011 - We planted a 15 foot, approx. 3" caliber live oak tree last summer and it seemed very healthy throughout our unusually cold winter in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. (Winston-Salem). Now it's ...
view the full question and answer

Lantana trees in Wyoming MI
August 16, 2010 - We love lantana with its multicolored flowers. This weekend we visited Michigan State University and saw "lantana trees".They were amazing!! Have these trees been grown from the annual plant we have...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on weeping willow
August 03, 2008 - We have a 4 year old Weeping Willow, 12+/- ft. tall and this week the leaves are starting to become yellow. This willow is full and robust in appearance, best it's ever looked. We have 2 other Wee...
view the full question and answer

Will Texas madrone (Arbutus xalapensis) grow in northeast Texas?
November 24, 2009 - Will Texas madrones grow by Cedar Creek Lake and if so, do you know where I could purchase them "sort of" locally?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center