Planting Cuttings

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Habitat' started by IQDM, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. If you are looking to increase your shrub population on your property there are a couple ways to do it. You can buy bare root shrubs from a tree nursery, or you can take some of your existing shrubs and make cuttings. To make a cutting, take one of the branches of a shrub about the dia. of your middle finger and Cut it into 8" - 12" pieces. Cut the bottom of the cutting at an angle so that it is easier to stick into the ground and also this helps to make sure you are not putting the cutting in upside down. It is important that the cutting is sticking out of the ground the same way it was growing on the shrub (buds pointing up).

    Here are some willows that I have on an area of my land. They are great for cover and bedding and I have been working on increasing the number of them on my property by using cuttings.
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    I made a few hundred cuttings and put them in buckets, waiting for a nice rainy day to put them in. I find that it is easier to stick them in the ground if it is on a rainy day or the next day after a rain. The soil is softer and they just slide right in. If you are on very hard soil, the use of a dibble bar, pud, or rebar might be necessary to make a hole first.
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    Using a rooting hormone powder that I bought from http://www.bigrocktrees.com, I dipped the bottom end of the cutting into the powder and then stuck them into the ground about half way or so. Since this was a spur of the moment project, I have yet to spray the area with herbicide, but I will be spraying around them with round up and prowl h2o (verrrrry carefully)
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    If you look closely, you can see that there is growth already coming out of some of these! I had planted them only 2 weeks ago!
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    I am using these willows as a screen to make a deer travel route between 2 of my food plots. I have a nice brush pile on one side, but the other side is open for 50yds or so before the next sign of cover. By planting this line of cuttings at about 10ft away from the brush pile, the deer will feel very comfortable and hidden as they travel along from food plot to food plot.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2015
  2. Yesterday I took to a new project that involved using cuttings to screen a new food plot. The food plot as seen in the picture is the deadly Y shape food plot! The shape of this plot naturally brings cruising bucks to the center of the plot and within bow range. Using cuttings I am attempting to screen the view from one finger of the plot to the other fingers. With screening along the edges, the buck will not be able to just quickly scan the field and leave. He will be forced to come to the center of the plot in order to check for does in each finger.
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    Using willow cuttings from nearby plants, we cut them at 8" to 12" pieces and put them in buckets.
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    I am no expert in the world of cuttings, so I did some different things to see what works and what does not. I tried some cuttings with the rooting hormone and some without.
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    I tried some with black plastic weed protector and some without.
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    We will see if there is any difference in growth rates or survival rates among the different techniques. I would bet however that because they are willow and very hardy to begin with, there won’t be much difference. I had a pail of cuttings that had been in my garage for couple weeks waiting to go in the ground and look what they looked like when I opened them yesterday! :tdo12: The pail was filled with water and the cuttings had all sprouted new roots and had new growth coming out of the tops! Seeing that makes me thing that the hormone may not be needed with willows. :smile:
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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2015

  3. Either way, hormone or not, plastic or not, we stuck a ton of new cuttings in along the edge of the new food plot and I am excited how it affects deer movement once the cuttings get up to screening height!
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    Also, we tried sticking in some larger cuttings to see if that works. If it does, we could possibly sick in 3' tall plants and in 2 years would have a pretty nice screen already!
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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2015
  4. I don't know about you, but I think the stuff you are doing is a blast! I love doing habitat work!!
     
  5. So how much growth did you see from the larger cuttings this year? I have some areas I am thinking about trying this with, but I would rather do it right even if it takes a little longer.
     
  6. I saw 4' to 5' of growth! I was very pleased with how the cuttings grew. However, I did learn that the cuttings will not tolerate weed competition! All the cuttings that I planted and did not take care of the weeds died. So this year I will take much better care of the cuttings and make sure weed competition is kept in check! I will post some pics soon of this years growth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2015
  7. Steve

    Steve Staff Member

    Great stuff!