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Welcome back to Agra Talk and Outdoors on the Farm. I’m your host, Jeff Lori. Glad that you could be with us today. Yeah, Outdoors on the Farm is back and love the fact that we’ve got Base Camp Leasing in as a sponsor of some conservation talk of some land management talk. We’re going to talk about hunts, we’re going to talk about fishing. But this is about the farm, the farmer and the environment and the habitat that they’re developing. Can ask for a better partner in it than JT. Craig or CEO of Base Camp Leasing. Jt, welcome back.
Hey, thanks, Chip. I’m excited to be here.
Glad you are. Glad you are. And also joining us is Tom James. He is the national sales manager for Base Camp Country Real Estate. And of course, Tom is an expert in wildlife and habitat management. Tom, welcome to Outdoors on the Farm.
Thank you so much, Chip. It’s an honor to be here with you guys today.
Excellent. Love it. All right, so let’s talk about a couple of things that we can do at the same time. When we’re out in the timber this spring, it’s time to be thinking about managing some of the invasive species that love the Midwest Timbers. And as long as we’re out walking around, you might as well pay attention to what else you can learn from your timber while we’re out there. Tom, I want to start with you because I’ve seen some of these Timbers that get clear cut. I’ve seen some that get well, some of the derecho damage in Eastern Iowa that we’ve experienced, and it provides that perfect habitat or perfect environment. I call it trash. Some of the invasive species to really set hold in there. How much trash in the timber is too much trash?
That’s a great question because the trash can cover a lot of different excuses me forage types or vegetative types, if you think about it in terms of anything that’s on the ground in the forest, a lot of people think some of that is just all being bad. There are plenty of great natural selection things that we want to come in and we want to encourage to come in. But what happens a lot of times is some of these non-native species that may be germinated and get out of the ground a lot sooner than our natives. They get an unfair head start, if you will. And a lot of times they don’t have any natural enemies. They don’t get browsed much by deer and rabbits and things like that so they can get established quicker and easier. So those are the ones that we want to single identify, target them and treat them however we can. There are many methods we’ll talk about. But then again, some of those trashy things are naturally responding to regrowth of what we consider the great habitat, regrowing new saplings from the nut trees around them. There’s plenty of good what we call valuable or desirable Forbes and weeds in the woods.
It’s just part of nature’s succession.
Yeah. And JT, sometimes the trash or these invasive species can create some edge out there in the Timbers that are really important to wildlife habitat, right?
That’s right. Absolutely. It depends, as Tom mentioned, what that type of species is that comes in. So you just want to make sure you’re managing that to improve the quality of the herd.
Right. So, Tom, when it comes time to manage these and I’m thinking about thorn bushes and multiple flower roses and stuff like that, what’s the best way to do it once? Because, man, I’m telling you, it seems like every time I take a chainsaw to the stuff, it comes back twice as thick.
You’re exactly right. And that’s why it’s so it’s invasive for many reasons. This is because it does spread rapidly and it’s hard to kill and it outcompetes its native counterparts. So first of all, identifying them effectively. There are some that sort of look similar to some of the ones that we do want around. You mentioned multifloras a minute ago. To the untrained eye, you can look at a green Briar right next to it, and they both look like thorny vines. So understanding that one is good, one is bad, one we want to kill one. We want to encourage making sure you can identify. And if I may, real quick, I know we’re living on time today, but there’s probably three to 400 total invasive species if you really cover the country. But we’re talking specifically today to the Midwest, and I’m going to give you the big four, I call them. That what we deal with here in central Indiana. And that’s the Bush Honeysuckle, not to be confused with the Vining Honeysuckle, which is also invasive. But this Bush Honeysuckle is an upright shrubby tree that gets just can absolutely dominate a stand. The multiflora rose, as you mentioned a minute ago, it’s funny and thorny and produces little small fruits.
It’s the one you don’t want to walk through with shorts on or bare sleeves. It’ll hook you up in a hurry.
You barely want to walk through the car hard on.
Stay away from it altogether. And eventually, some people think that’s a great living ticket, but it would get so thick that the deer won’t even want to go through it. That bad autumn olive is another one, and you can identify that by the silverish underside of the leaf. It’s also a shrubby, upright Bush. And then the private, which is a little bit more of a blunt leaf. It has a little bit of a thorny type of wood to it, but very dense wood. Again, it falls in that same category. All these are problematic because they will outcompete things that we want to try to encourage.
Okay. So let’s be efficient with this and take them out in one fell swoop. How do we do it?
Okay, I’m going to give you three or four methods. There’s no one magic bean or magic bullet that will take care of it. All the smaller ones you can pull by hand, but you’re going to be a very busy person. If you can pull it out effectively where the root comes out, that’s great. A lot of guys will mechanically remove them with a skid loader or a grapple bucket or even a backhoe and lift them up out of the ground and throw them on a pile. You can mow them off or cut them off with mowing equipment or chainsaws, but then you’ll have to treat the stumps effectively. And then there’s just a good old-fashioned herbicide method. And in that category, we can do it in several ways. We can foliar spray the leaves on the foliage when they’re out in the spring all the way up until summertime. Ideally, you’re doing that towards the end of the growing season, where it’s taking those chemicals down to the root and storing up for the winter, where you’re going to really get a good job of killing. There’s another process called basal bark treatment, where you take some of these herbicides and spray the trunk up, say twelve to 18 inches up around off the ground, and that will soak into the Cambium layer of the tissue just underneath the bark and do the same thing.
Some of the chemicals that we use are very common. Glyphosate, which everybody knows is a roundup, is a very effective one. But there are a couple more. Triclopir is one. Emzapir is another one. I can give you some more, but I don’t want to get too technical today. And there’s different ratios that you mix those chemicals at got you JT.
And once we’ve got those invasive species under control, then it’s time to come in with what you want and get some new growth going, right?
That’s right. I think it makes a lot of sense if you’re taking out those invasive species, you’re trying to improve your habitat. Figure out what in your area is really good for the wildlife. Is it white Oaks? Is it Apple trees? If you’re in the south, is it for Simmons, what is it that you want to plant in place of some of those things? And obviously, it may depend on where you are in your woods. Is it a transition area? Is it in deep woods or a bedding area? You can even plant warm seasoned grasses in there, depending on how much light that it gets. So there are lots of options, but it makes a lot of sense to try to improve that habitat once you’ve taken out those invasive species.
Right. Don’t do half the work. Finish the job and get something in there that you really want. Okay. Jt, you’re out there in the timber at spring of the year. You might as well keep your eyes open and see what you can learn. I’m looking for sheds all the time.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense when you’re walking through your woods and your south-facing slopes work well, following those trails out the feeding areas can be a good idea as well. And always looking for sheds is a good way to figure out what kind of inventory you’ve got coming into the next year.
Yeah. Where the river birds grow fairly thick, yet there’s a deer path through them. I like to look in those areas. I like to think that maybe they’re getting caught up a little bit, shake their heads loose to get it loose. And that might be a good spot to look for some sheds, too. And like you said, really, you can take your inventory with the trail cams, but if you can also find those sheds to back it up, you really know what you’re dealing with. And let’s say it is a good one. And what if you do put in the work and get them in the following fall? Now you’ve got some history to go with them, and I don’t have that on my wall, JT. And it’s something that I want.