The folks at Chestnut Hill Outdoors know the best way to attract and hold more and healthier wildlife on your property is by providing the proper amount and type of natural food to meet all their year-round nutritional needs. Planting food plots is one way to improve plant food quality and quantity but still leaves nutritional gaps. Establishing mast orchards fills those gaps, and enhances the value of food plots and other natural food sources.
Because nutritional demands change with the seasons, it’s also important to establish and maintain a variety of wildlife crops, and Chestnut Hill Outdoors offers an array of soft and hard mast producers to help you fill your wildlife nutrition calendar.
Right now, in spring and early summer, newborn whitetail fawns are putting tremendous nutritional stress on nursing does, and buck antler growth rates have kicked into overdrive. Meanwhile, rapidly growing young wild turkeys, grouse, pheasants, quail, and other small game birds and mammals are scouring the landscape for food.
Soft mast or fruit plots containing perennial species like mulberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, native plum, and nectarine provide an exceptional source of early summer soft mast.
Mulberries are the very first soft mast shrub to fruit in spring, as early as April and May in the deep south, and early June further north. Chestnut Hill Outdoors offers both native and imported varieties. The native red mulberry (Morus rubra) is best suited to plant hardiness zones 6-9. They bear fruit in their second or third year and will typically grow to be 15-20 feet tall, but can grow to 40 feet and be tremendous producers of soft mast.
CHO’s Southern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium ashei X corymbosum) ripen one to three weeks earlier (May-June) than many other cultivars. Meanwhile, their Rabbiteye cultivars (V. ashei) are easy to grow, more drought tolerant and less susceptible to late winter/early spring freezes. Both varieties bear fruit after one year and are best suited to Plant Hardiness Zones 6-10.
Best suited for Zones 7-9, Dorman Red (Rubus var.) is CHO’s summer-bearing raspberry, producing good quantities of large, firm, juicy, red fruit around mid-June. Chestnut Hill Outdoors offers several varieties of thornless blackberries suitable for Zones 5-8 or 6-9, depending on specific variety. All can begin to bear fruit in two years.
Plums are available from Chestnut Hill Outdoors in both native and imported varieties. Their most popular variety, the native Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia) is best suited to plant hardiness zones 6 and 7.
Chestnut Hill Outdoors is more than just a nursery. To ensure you receive the maximum benefit from their products, they also provide sound advice and instruction on proper planting and care. And they ensure the plants you receive are suited to your regional climate. For more on the varieties listed above and all Chestnut Hill Outdoors products and how to care for them, visit ChestnutHillOutdoors.com, or call (855) 386-7826.
Chestnut Hill is the best place for you to purchase your food plot and deer attractant plants because they offer a large selection, their plants are specifically bred to attract deer, and they offer customers different sized plants at different levels of growth.
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