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Creating Deer Habitat in Eastern Oregon after Wildfire

 
Justin James Anderson
Posts: 3
Location: Zone 8, Portland OR
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Last summer a friends property outside the umatilla national forest in Eastern Oregon was devastated by wildfire and with it, many acres of pristine deer habitat. We are looking to give the area a jump start in regrowth and plant a few acres of trees to try to bring the deer back. The deer and the wood are an important source of food and income for the family that owns the property, and this loss have proved to be quite an ordeal. I am looking for sources where I can purchase bulk native tree saplings and any guidance on how to create deer habitat that would possibly mitigate the spread of future wildfires. There are no structures on the property, and the area we are looking to replant is a multi-acre hillside. Thanks for any ideas on how I should approach this project!
 
Jd Gonzalez
Posts: 205
Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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forest garden greening the desert hunting trees
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Here in Virginia, you can purchase seedlings from the state forestry office. I've bought hazelnuts, Saskatoons, sand cherries, and plums.
Check with your states' forestry office.
This link has resources for out west.
http://www.forestseedlingnetwork.com
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Clear cuts and burnt over areas become prime deer habitat on their own. Natural succession takes over and produces an abundance of food.

Mature evergreen forest produces far less food, but is still useful to deer, for shelter. They often hang around the margins. Around here, deer are more abundant in areas of human disturbance, than in completely wild areas.

There may be some ways that you can make further enhancements to the habitat, but it will recover without intervention.
 
Steve Oh
Posts: 44
Location: SW Ohio, 6b, heavy clay prone to hardpan
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Clear cuts and burnt over areas become prime deer habitat on their own. Natural succession takes over and produces an abundance of food.

Mature evergreen forest produces far less food, but is still useful to deer, for shelter. They often hang around the margins. Around here, deer are more abundant in areas of human disturbance, than in completely wild areas.

There may be some ways that you can make further enhancements to the habitat, but it will recover without intervention.


Dale nailed this. Definitely my experience as well. The pioneer plants that take advantage of the open space provided by the fire, and the succession of species that comes later, are like crack to deer, this will be a prime browsing area for several years. They do need some heavier cover withing a reasonable travel distance, but as long as they have a bedding area, they will browse the burned areas then return to cover to bed down. This often makes hunting easier, the growth is lower, and lush green, which contrasts with the buff coat of the deer. Think about deer in a bean field and you get the idea.
 
Alice Tagloff
Posts: 53
Location: Newfoundland
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Oregon actually has a Stewardship Forester program where you can consult with a Forester for technical information and even support sometimes.
http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Working/Pages/FindAForester.aspx

Your friend should contact his local Forester for recommendations on how to proceed.

http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Working/Pages/Replanting.aspx
Replanting information for the different area's of Oregon

http://seedlings.uidaho.com/Store/
The University of Idaho seems to have the best reforestation seedlings catalog, and the Oregon website actually refers to them for ordering seedlings in East Oregon.
For "big" plug trees, $2.50 each, a minimum of usually 5 per tree type, and sometimes a discount when you order more than 200 of the same tree. This size stock includes walnut, serviceberry, wild apple, cherries, etc.
For smaller plug trees, it's $1, a minimum of 20 per tree - and not many varieties, or apparently $0.45 each when you order more than 100. Tho most seem to be out of stock.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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If they want parts of their woodland to grow up to mature trees for deer cover, they may need to high fence some areas to keep the deer from browsing them down too much. If they're going to the expense of buying trees, they might want to protect them with fences for at least the first couple of years. We have too many deer on our place and they browse out everything that's small enough, and slightly larger trees are killed by the stags rubbing their antlers on them, so I'm having to do a lot of extra work to protect trees from the deer.

 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 233
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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JD and Alice,

Great resource links! Thank you for posting. They are now added to my bookmarks.
 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
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