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Managing Trees and Shrubs in Your Habitat

Managing Trees and Shrubs in Your Habitat

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Published by msblsports
Inevitably, the trees and shrubs that you planted will grow, expanding their canopies and coverage. They will also reproduce through seeds or root propagation, becoming more crowded and competing for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients.
Inevitably, the trees and shrubs that you planted will grow, expanding their canopies and coverage. They will also reproduce through seeds or root propagation, becoming more crowded and competing for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients.

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Published by: msblsports on Jan 25, 2012
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Page 1A Plant's Home
WindStar Wildlife Institute
 For more nature habitat informationVisit these helpful websites:
A Plant's HomeA Bird's HomeA Homesteader's Home
Managing Trees andShrubs in Your Habitat
nevitably, the trees andshrubs that you planted willgrow, expanding their canopiesand coverage.They will also reproducethrough seeds or rootpropagation, becoming morecrowded and competing forsunlight, moisture, andnutrients.Consumers such as insectsand fungi
including somedisease organisms
will takeadvantage of the food sourcesprovided by the plants.Food chains will develop as theecosystem becomes established.Deer browsing could control ordiminish plants in theunderstory.Newcomers that were notincluded in your original habitatplant may take root.
How Do You ManageYour Wildlife HabitatOver Time.
First, give your trees a healthystart. Plant them properly bydigging ample holes and providingplenty of loose soil. Do notfertilize at planting time. Be sureto prune dead and dyingbranches and roots as you plant.
You have selected  appropriate plants for your wildlife habitat and  arranged them with sufficient space and lightin your habitat plan... How do you manage your habitat over time.
Page 2A Plant's Home
WindStar Wildlife Institute
Control weeds aroundseedlings. Because weeds grow
faster and often taller thanyoung seedlings, they competefor moisture, nutrients, light,and space. Weed control iscrucial in the first 3 to 5 yearsafter planting. You will need toprevent weed growth within a 2to 4 ft. zone around seedlings.Here
s how:
Remove all vegetationaround the tree site beforeplanting, either by
cultivation or using a generalherbicide like Roundup in thefall.
Control weeds afterplanting. You can kill weeds
by mulching around seedlingswith sawdust, wood chips,bark, or composted leaves.Be sure to make the mulchlayer about 6 in. thick tokeep weeds from reappearing.
Apply herbicides, but onlywhen needed, in the properamount at the right time.
Two types of herbicides areeffective in controllinggrasses and broadleaf weeds:(1) pre-emergent, soil-appliedchemicals, and(2) post-emergentchemicals applied to foliageof weeds.Check with your countyagricultural extensionservice for information onrecommended chemical weedcontrol around treeplantings.
Weed around your trees.
Cultivation is probably theleast effective method of controlling weeds, as oneshould avoid digging close tothe tree in order not todamage roots.Weeding by this method alsomust be done 3 to 5 timesper season.
Remove Invasive Plants
If aggressive invaders gain afoothold at your habitat site,they may compete moresuccessfully than your desirableplants.Suckering or clonal trees likesassafras and black locust andwildflowers like white wood asterand hay-scented fern cansignificantly change the groundlayer.The best way to deal withaggressive invading species isto recognize them early andremove them as they appear.Use lists of your area
s invasiveexotics published by your statenative plant society todetermine whether a newcomeris an appropriate resident. If itis not, remove and destroy it.Waiting until invaders are wellestablished will make moredrastic removal methodsnecessary.
Control OverlySuccessful Plants
Some of the plants that youintroduce into your wildlifehabitat may be fast growersand may threaten to take overyour plot.Ground covers such ascreeping phlox, barrenstrawberry, and foamflowereventually need to be thinned.Even wild bleeding heart, whichhas a delightfully long floweringperiod, can overwhelm us intime.
Before long, editing becomescentral to the garden
smaintenance, and the best redpen is a fearlessly usedcompost pile," writes SusanDumaine in
Woodland Gardens
.When plants get out of hand,she
stands ready to smotherthem with mulch-topped stripsof old carpet when necessary."
Nurture Welcome Volunteers
Seed dispersal through wind,water, or animals will also bringdesirable newcomers to yourhabitat. If they are
 FoamflowerCreeping Phlox
Page 3A Plant's Home
WindStar Wildlife Institute
encouraged, they can bringwelcome changes and a greatervariety of native plants to yoursetting.Plants that you planned tohave growing in certain placesmay also move to new areas,producing unexpected colonies.
You begin to realize that thegarden is asserting itsindependence
the sign of ahealthy garden," writes WayneWomack in
Woodland Gardens.
Control Animal Damage
Animals can significantlyalter your habitat and itsplantings. With no predators,deer populations are exploding,and humans are squeezing themout of their habitats, as well.Though we might want toattract them to our habitatsites, they can do considerabledamage to seedlings and to theunderstory of a forest, creatinga browse line 4 or 5 ft. abovethe ground.Bob Lavell, a WindStar WildlifeHabitat Naturalist, has foundthat
fences" made of severalrows of monofilament fishing lineattached to plastic poles deterdeer.The animals are baffled by thisinvisible obstacle, which stops ortrips them, and they usuallyavoid the area once they
ve hada run-in with the fence.Species like rabbits andsquirrels can also change thespecies composition of plantson your site by browsing, digging,and burrowing. (Squirrels plant alot of trees!) When beavers builda dam, the rising water levelsaround a stream kills nearbyforests.
Control Insectsand Diseases
Insects and diseaseorganisms are part of thenatural forest ecosystem andactually contribute to biologicaldiversity. But in a small garden,they can wreak havoc andthreaten the survival of yourplants.Well-known problems includeoak wilt, gypsy mothcaterpillars, spruce bud worm,dogwood anthracnose andhemlock woolly adelgid. Contactyour county extension agent tofind out how best to treat theseproblems.
You may need to prune forreasons of safety, health,aesthetics, or stimulation of fruit production. All woodyplants shed branches inresponse to shading andcompetition.These branches, which do notproduce enough carbohydratesfrom photosynthesis, die andare eventually shed. Theresulting wounds are sealed bywhat is called woundwood.
Control Insects
Woodland Gardens. ShadeGets Chic. Brooklyn
Botanic Gardens, 1995
Henderson, Carrol L.
 Landscaping for Wildlife
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,Nongame Wildlife Program
Section of Wildlife, 1992
USDA, How to Prune Trees,U.S. Forest Servicepublication NA-FR-01-95
USDA. Homeowner
s Guide
for Beautiful, Safe, andHealthy Trees. U.S. Forest
Service publication NE-INF-58-96

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