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

Most numerous trees in the Piedmont NC from Chapel Hill NC
September 20, 2012 - What's a list of the most populous trees in piedmont North Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Care of a live oak with decay and perhaps fungus on trunk
July 14, 2011 - I have a huge live oak on my property in Salado that just lost a very large branch. The branch had decay in the center and also has a variety of bugs in it, espeically since it has been on the ground...
view the full question and answer

Small green balls falling from oaks in Hunt TX
May 03, 2014 - Our live oak trees have pin-sized black and green balls falling from them (there are so may that is sounds like rain!) The balls are not associated with or fall with the catkins. Thanks for your ass...
view the full question and answer

Removing leaves before transplanting from Miami
August 27, 2009 - What is good idea to remove some leaves before transplanting a plant??
view the full question and answer

Tulip tree with white spots on leaves in Mississippi
July 31, 2008 - I have a tulip tree in my yard that blooms in the spring that is about 10-15 years old. However just this past week or so we have noticed that there is lots of white spots on the leaves and the branc...
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