How should I set back plant growth where pines at my farm have been thinned?

By Grant Woods,

  Filed under:

← Grant's AnswersFood Plots
I manage and hunt a 320ac farm in central Alabama, it is 120ac of planted pines that were thinned in 2014-2015. The property has been cut with skidder trails running along and off of a major road thru property, and as we suspected the deer love the new browse and fresh growth and most of all the cover. My concern is that within the next few years the property will soon be overgrown and very thick, would you suggest mowing a select number of skidder trails to allow fresh growth and visibility or allow the entire property to grow up? Any information would be appreciated! Have seen more and better deer thanks to your info and growing deer tv. Eagle seed beans are amazing, as is trophy rocks we now have almost all does on property dropping twins which up until about 2 years ago we hardly ever saw!!!thanks again Steve Thompson



Congratulations on managing the 320 acres in a manner that has resulted in improved deer herd health!

As the saplings and forbs grow the forage quality will decrease. I do recommend mowing, using prescribed fire, herbicide, etc., to set back the maturity of these plants. I often covert skidder trails, rows where pines have been thinned, etc., to food plots.  Deer readily use these linear plots that are very close to cover.  I often leave two rows as is and plant the third.  This pattern of food/cover creates ideal habitat!

You may wish to check out the GrowingDeer episode a the following link for more information about growing food plots in pines.

Enjoy creation,


January 25, 2016