Questions on planting trees


New Member
I am thinking of planting a few trees this year and am looking for some advice on several different aspects of this. I know this is a fruit tree thread, but I didn't see another thread for other types of trees. Does anyone here have any experience with sawtooth oak trees? If so, what has been your experience with them, good or bad? I am also thinking of planting a few fruit trees. All of these trees will mainly be used for wildlife. Any ideas on the fruit trees I should plant that deer will use? I am looking for trees that require the least amount of maintenance. I am in Western KY. Thanks ahead of time for all the help.

I would think sawtooth will be a great addition for your land. Whitetail Deer love them. Probably plant at least 6 in each area.

The ole' saying is - If you have a black thumb, you can grow a pear tree. I have two groups of pear trees right now - 6 in each location and both locations have done well. Kiefer is a can't miss choice but you mix the pear varieties up because of pollination. Pear trees planted property can cover Sept to November on drop time.

I am going to graft some root stock this spring on the pears.

I have a big Chinese Chestnut project I have been working on since 2014. That is a soft mast tree - not exactly a fruit tree.

There will be some other share their experiences too. Apples, crabapples and persimmons are options but they aren't my strength yet.

Good luck to you. If you ever want to grow any Chinese Chestnuts let me know.

The easiest and lowest maintenance fruit tree you can plant is persimmon. If you already have persimmon and want another fruit tree then Wayne is correct--pears are the way to go. Just do your research and get disease resistant pears. I have a mix of Keiffer, Moonglow, and Orient pear. I have some Korean Giant pears over wintering in pots that will be planted after deer season.

Sawtooth Oaks are not a native Oak and many state nurseries have quit offering them in their packages. However, I have several planted that will be 4 years old this spring. I don't have acorns yet but they are a fast growing oak and easy to get established. Mine are tubed and look forward to them producing in another 3 years or so.

Chinese chestnut and sawtooth s are both great picks for low maintenance that won't take 20 years to crop. However I do think both can be shaded out by other trees with Chinese be a little easier to be outgrown. So if you plant these two keep them protected from deer and eliminate compatition around them.

For fruit trees your best and easiest bet is pears no question. Avoid Bartlett because it will die from fireblight. If you wanna keep things simple you can wait til your Lowe's, home depot, Walmart, etc. Puts there trees on sale late spring/fall and pick up keiffer, Ayers, and Moonglow pretty cheap. If you want to expand your drop times beyond this the wildlife group has great disease resistant pears you can order bareroot.

Apples and crabapples can be fairly low maintenance or so I've been told if you pick the right varieties and do a little pruning each year. Examples of good varieties include Arkansas Black, Yates, pricilla, Terry winter, Kinnairds Choice, bevans favorite, dolgo crab, Kerr crab, chestnut crab, to name a few.

All these varieties can be ordered online from varies nurseries such as the wildlife group, Cummins, century farms, big horse Creek farms which are some I have used and had good success growing their trees.

The next thing you may want to think about is rootstock. In my opinion the three best apple rootstock for a wildlife planting are either m111, b118, or standard size rootstock such as Anatova. 99% of what we've planted are on Anatova or b118 because they are the biggest tree yielding rootstocks and both do well in sandy soils. M111 will still produce a big free standing tree and is supposed to do well in heavier soils. For pears I've used ohxf97 when grafting which is supposed to make a standard size pear tree though ohxf87 I believe yields 80% of standard and is also offered pretty regularly.
Fellas, thank you so much for the info. Please forgive me, but I am very uneducated when it comes to trees and all that go along with them. Neahawg, what are you talking about when you speak of rootstock? I had thought about planting some type of apple trees, but I think you guys may have talked me in to going with the pears. I can do some pruning, just don't want a tree that requires a lot of maintenance. Are there different sizes of trees you can buy to plant?
There are different rootstocks that will yield different size trees. For example Anatova is considered standard and will yield a 30-35 ft tree, b118 is roughly 90% of standard, and m111 is around 80-85% standard, m106 I believe is somewhere between 60-75% standard. These may not be the exact % but it's close. So depending on the size of tree you want along with climate and soil characteristics you determine what rootstock you may want.
A few more questions for this thread, is there a particular time of year that is best for planting the sawtooth oaks and the fruit trees? When planting these trees, any advice on how to plant and what to do afterwards will be greatly appreciated. I've heard several speak of tubing their trees after planting. What is this and should I do this to the trees I plant? I'm sure I will think of several other questions, but for now, that is all. Thanks so much again for all of your help.
If you are going to plant where trees are exposed to deer you need to provide protection. Some use 5ft tree tubes others make fence cages. This protects the trees from rubbing or browsing by deer.

On fruit trees most go with a cage and weed mat. I like to mulch with pea gravel as this helps retain moisture, doesn't decompose, or attract rodents as bad. Then it's a good idea to wrap the trunk with aluminum screen to protect from rodents.

As far as when to plan I like late fall but you can plant anywhere from late fall through spring depending on your climate.
I'm in south central ky and just put 30 Apple trees in over the last few days. I went with cages and weed mats. My cousin had a fencing business and he gave me a bunch of his scraps which turned out to be right at 30 cages worth. My advice would be pick a small amount of fruit trees maybe 5 and put them in the ground with cages and weed mats then you will have a feel of how much you can handle in a day for future plannings. We just took a couple hours to cut all the cages up this fall and had them on location then my dad and I got a decent system going to get them in the ground. If you can get one helper it makes it much easier. I plan on getting a roll of that wire and repeating the process as time permits but not with apples. If you need any apples I might have some extras I think I have 35 left before native hunter on here takes his picks. I'm glad how my planting turned out because we have got some rain after I put these in the ground.
Using weed mats do you have any issues with mice under them?I usually mulch but had some issues with golphers and someone thought it may be because of the mulch.
Good question time will tell. I plan to go back and put lime down over the weed mats to try and keep them out from under there. That's just going off what I've seen others do on here.