What forages are extremely shade tolerant?

By Grant Woods,

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Grant: I have a beautiful secluded area of mature trees along a creek bed whose understory is almost 100% wild oats (which the deer do not eat). What can I plant there (after mowing the oats) that will be an attractive and nutritious deer food? Obviously, this area is heavily shaded. I thought of some type of clover, but when I read about the clovers, they all seem to want quite a bit of sunshine.

Most forages do require at least 1/2 day of sunshine to be productive.  The sun is the source of all energy and with ample sunlight the photosynthesis process doesn’t work.

I agree with you that white clovers are about as tolerant as any forage I’ve tried  You will need to insure there are plenty of nutrients in the soil. All forages are simply nutrient transfer agents and if the nutrients aren’t in the soil the  plants can’t transfer them to deer.

If the site has a full canopy I wouldn’t recommend using your resources to try to establish a food plot in that location.