Should I clear the cedars on my land in Missouri?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
What is your opinion on cedar trees? I have land in Missouri that a fire went though about 12 to 15 years ago and the big oak trees survived but now we have a lot of cedars and underbrush which makes it hard to do a prescribed burn. It also is difficult to see any distance. Should i clear the cedars out in designated areas? The deer use some of the thick areas as travel corridores and i would like to leave those areas alone.


If there are “big oaks” then the land probably hasn’t been tilled in a long time!  This is good as it’s likely there’s a rich native seed bank below the cedars.  I recommend cutting the cedars and allowing them to dry for about two years.  Then use a low intensity, backing fire to burn the cedars native grasses and forbs will germinate!  These provide much better cover and food than cedars.  Deer and many forms of wildlife will benefit from this habitat improvement (and use the area more).

Enjoy creation,


February 5, 2016