CROSSETT (AGFC) –
If you're a private landowner and would like to plant at least 20 acres
to a mix of hardwoods, start planning now and contact an Arkansas Game
and Fish Commission or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Private Lands
Biologist. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has funding
available for private landowners, but several key steps will have to be
completed before planting can occur.
preparation will have to be completed this summer in order to give
hardwood seedlings the proper conditions for optimal growth – especially
if converting old pastures or hayfields. Grass dominated sites will
require a significant amount of site prep, as existing perennial grasses
should be eradicated the summer or fall prior to tree planting.
landowners with perennial warm season grasses, such as bermudagrass or
bahiagrass, you'll need to apply herbicides during the summer months
when they are actively growing. For cool season grasses, such as fescue,
landowners can spray them in the fall. Grasses provide too much
competition for water during the growing season and can lead to tree
failures, especially during dry summers. Their eradication or control is
almost a requirement prior to tree planting.
eliminating the competition, the site will likely need to be sub-soiled
or "ripped," as it is more commonly termed. Ripping is achieved by
pulling a steel shank behind a tractor and allowing it to dig into the
soil at a depth of 15-18 inches. This will break up the hard pan and
allow the tree roots to spread out. It also will allow water to
infiltrate the soil down to the root zone. Ripping also allows for
faster and easier planting for hand crews.
trees are planted, a pre-emergent herbicide is recommended to keep any
grasses or competing vegetation from coming back during the
establishment year. The pre-emergent must be applied before the tree
buds begin to swell.
and foresters can provide you with a site specific schedule for
implementing the practices, as well as a list of contractors. The
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program can even provide cost-share if
the project ranks high enough. Cost-share is not available for planting
cutovers or for non-native trees.
information on establishing hardwoods and providing wildlife habitat,
contact a Partners for Fish and Wildlife biologist in South Arkansas at
870-940-0681, Northeast Arkansas at 501-676-9122 or Northwest Arkansas
at 501-513-4479. AGFC Private Lands Biologists also can help landowners
with hardwood tree planning, information on other programs and
establishing wildlife habitat- Beaver Lake-866-253-2506; Harrison,
870-741-8600 ext. 114; Hope, 877-777-5580; Calico Rock, 877-297-4331;
Little Rock, 877-470-3650; Brinkley, 877-734-4581; Jonesboro,
877-972-5438 and Monticello, 877-367-3559, or to contact a local PLB
that covers your county, check out the map on the AGFC webpage at: