The concept of planting food plots for wildlife is well established; many conservation-minded sportsmen are using the same concept for planting forests. Although the “vertical plot” takes a while to get started, once established it will bear fruit for the hunter’s lifetime, and perhaps longer. Better yet, specialized nurseries are producing strains of trees, such as the American chestnut, that are disease resistant. Lindsey Thomas, Jr. covers this topic thoroughly in this post from QDMA and provides all the details on how to get started, whether you want to plant a forest or just a few trees.
I’ve been planting trees for deer habitat management since I started helping my dad when I was about 10 years old. I’m in my 40s now and still planting them. I’ve learned a lot about tree planting and made plenty of mistakes in that time. Whenever the subject comes up, friends who hunt always have a lot of questions about which trees to plant and how, so I decided to compile a list of my most useful tips, based on experience, for planting trees for deer hunting.
• Plant native tree species. Avoid non-native invasives like autumn olive. Some of these species do have wildlife benefits, but there are always native alternatives that are just as good or better. Choose those.