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Our Mast Tree Maintenance Project–Planting the seeds for a plentiful future!

February 21, 2012

This past January, we’ve been hard at work!

We’ve been diligently working on our “Mast Tree Maintenance Project” as a means to beautify and enrich both the land and wildlife here at the plantation.

Shortly after purchasing the property in 2001, we implemented a habitat improvement program, one part of which includes our mast tree maintenance project.  After several other projects that have come ahead of it, we’ve finally got underway, and we’re definitely looking forward to giving back to Nature.

For the non-arborists among us, “mast” is a term used to refer to the fruit produced by forest trees found naturally in the wild.  Our project’s purpose is to plant and maintain well over 1,000 mast producing trees to provide additional sources of food for the wildlife that roam our land.  Varieties being planted include Oak, Dogwood, Persimmon, and Apple trees.

Mast is a preferred source of food for wildlife: fruit, seeds and even branch tips from these trees are often eaten by deer. To protect the trees from deer browse in the early stages of their development, wire cages have been installed around the young trees. With this protection during their initial growth, we are ensuring that the plantation will be well-populated with a variety of attractive species in the years to come.

Once a tree has grown large enough to withstand deer pressure, the cage is removed and limbs are delicately pruned to help the trees reach their full growth potential.  Our estimated yield for this project will provide volumes of additional food sources for our local wildlife.

Although it’s referred to as a “Maintenance Project”, this careful planning and cultivation is really about new growth. At the plantation, we do our best not only to care for the land around us through every season, but to literally “plant the seeds” for even greater enjoyment in the years to come.

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