By Joel Schnell for Ruffed Grouse Minnesota.
I mean, being a land steward involves getting a bit sweaty, dirty, buggy, wood-ticky and all. The first few trees you plant, you say “Boy this is gonna be great! I wish I would’a planted 50 trees every year!” But after digging through the clay, rocks and roots, three trees later you say “This sucks. Conservation hurts.”
But rabbits- they are my nemisis today.
Spring is the time for putting trees and bushes in the ground. Improving habitat variety for my ruffed grouse and woodcock woods is done with a few orders from our county tree sale. This year it’s paper birch and white spruce, with a few local transplants of white pine, fir and tamarack.
Trying to keep the critters away from the banquet of young trees is a challenge. My forester suggested paper cones on the terminal buds of pine, and balloons on the tips of oak.
I don’t speak rabbit, but if I did I’d hear them say “Try the ones with the balloon on top, they are delicious!”
But I will not give up. Chicken wire is my next defense against the gnawing hoard.
If it every stops raining I’ll get my little apple trees in the ground and a few more of the rest. The birchs are already budding out.
Well, it’s a labor of love. I’ve got more trees, and more chicken wire. Find your own food, rabbits.
by Joel Schnell
Posted May 17, 2018.
Joel Schnell is publisher of www.ruffedgrouseminnesota.com
He can be reached at info[at]ruffedgrouseminnesota.com
© 2018 Joel Schnell, All Rights Reserved.