Hybrid trees have long been used to quickly create food plot screens, road screens, wind blocks, and thick cover for deer and other wildlife.
Dormant, non-rooted, “live stake” cuttings are a great way for anyone wanting to improve their deer’s habitat through tree plantings.
It’s relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take large equipment. Any novice or beginner can plant cuttings.
A cutting is a fairly straight section taken from the parent plant with all the branches removed. It basically looks like a twig with a few buds on it. It holds enough energy and nutrients to supplement root growth until the plant is self-sustaining.
Cuttings come in many sizes but are most commonly 2-6 inches in length. When planted with one or two buds exposed, the buds will begin to show a leafy growth while roots start to develop below ground.
Only certain types of trees will develop from a cutting. The hybrid cuttings like hybrid poplars and hybrid willows grow very quickly. When done correctly, you can potentially grow a wind break or screen in a few seasons.
We personally have had great luck with both the hybrid willows and poplars grown from cuttings. It is amazing the growth you can get as long as you keep the weed competition down and allow enough moisture.
We were excited to see a new product recently added to the cutting selection. At Big Rock Trees, 6-foot-cuttings are now available. They are a little more expensive but this puts you a whole season ahead of the game. These are great for areas with a high deer population.
Trying to keep deer from eating smaller trees can be difficult. We recommend tubing or caging your new tree plantings to keep deer from rubbing on them and damaging or killing them.
Our plantings are 3 years old and most of the trees are over 20′ tall now and are doing a great job of screening a public road. Hybrids and all types of cuttings are available at BigRockTrees.com