A few weeks ago I walked around the property looking for squirrels. There were a couple of locations that had perfect squirrel habitat, but there were no signs of squirrels being in the area. There were no pine cones that had been tore apart, no half eaten acorns nor did I see any squirrels.
As I followed a creek that runs along the back of the property, the timber transitioned from pine and oak to mostly oak and iron wood. Iron wood is a tree that grows in the shade of larger trees. It does not produce any kind of nut for squirrels or deer. It is mostly used for its hard wood to make walking sticks and bows.
Several years ago a lot of the older pine trees were cut off the property. Pine trees are a renewable resource when managed properly. Several large pine trees were left on the property to so they could reseed the area. Their seedlings float in the wind and can travel several hundred feet, depending on how the wind is blowing. I expected to see oaks and ironwood, but I also expected to see pine tree saplings coming up. I was rather surprised when I did not see hardly any pine saplings.
Planting Pine Trees
There is a power line going to my house that runs through the woods. All along the side of the power lines are mature pine trees that drop their seeds. Just about every year pine saplings (baby pine trees) sprout up under the power lines. Work crews drive heavy machinery under the power lines to keep the under brush cleared. Meaning, the pine saplings are cut down every year.
I walked along the power lines with a shovel, dug up several of the pine saplings, put them in a bag and brought them home.
Then I walked to the back of the property where I wanted pine trees to grow and planted the saplings. In all, I think I planted close to two dozen pine saplings over a couple of trips.
Something else that defines squirrel habitat is where squirrels can get out of the weather. They may build nest, but they like hollowed out places in trees. The hollowed out places are usually found in old mature timber.
Rather than waiting for nature to make a natural hollowed out area in a tree, I am going to build some squirrel boxes. The boxes will then be attached to the side of pine, oak or sweet gum trees.
There are too many ironwood trees on the property. They are crowding the ok trees and are making it difficult for pine saplings to grow,
I want ironwood trees on the property, but not hundreds of them. A few nice sized ones here and there will be just fine. Who knows, I might decided to make a bow out of one of them.
Planting pine saplings January 4th, 2017.
Update January 17th, 2017
Related forum thread – Developing Wildlife Habitat At Bug Out Location.
I may not live long enough to see the pine trees reach maturity, but maybe my children and grand children will.
We have to put forth some kind of effort to conserve nature.
Wildlife Habitat And Prepping
Providing wildlife habitat for deer, rabbits and squirrels is also a way of providing my family with fresh meat. Small game can be a reliable food source after SHTF, but only if managed properly.
Managed needs to be a complete circle. This means not over hunting and providing habitat.
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