Sse prescribed fire to clear leaves or disk them into the soi?

By Grant Woods,

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Dr. Woods
I am planning on clearing a few spots in my timber this winter in preparation for fall food plots next year. I would like to use a prescribed burn to remove the leaves if the conditions are right. However, I live four hours from the property so it may be tough to get up there when the weather is right. Would it be a bad idea to mulch and disc the leaves into the soil? Do you have a recommendation on how to go about this task if a burn is not possible? Thank you and God bless.



If you need to remove trees I suspect much of the leaves and debris will be disturbed as part of the clearing.  If the plots are already clear of trees than prescribed fire is a good option if it can be safely conducted.   If you are going to disk, than disking the organic matter into the soil is fine. Remember that disking results in compacting the soil just below the disk and causes other problems.  You may need to disk the plot to create a smooth seedbed the first time and then start using conservation practices such as using a no-till.

Once the plot is established I strongly recommend you discontinue disking and allow the past crops to decay on top the soil.  This is much more beneficial than disking the vegetation into the soil!  

Enjoy creation,


December 22, 2015