Spruce trees

David Mayfield

New Member
Will I be wasting my time planting 1/2 acre in norway spruce/white pine mix? I've read an article where guy planted 7 acres in spruce, had dozens of deer coming out at night. I was to go with alfalfa mixed with shrubs just outside the spruce trees then to open clover. Naturally lead out to open. On such a small scale is this a waste of time? Also the trees in this area are mainly 1 to 2 inch diameter saplings very close together shading each other. Big timber is never this close, its flat and next to farmland. Not sure if the farmer let this part grow up or if it was timbered. Heavy deer trail on the outskirts of this next to a field. Maybe no need for sources cover, not sure.
I know white pine is a preferred food source here in Minnesota. Spruce does just fine for me as long as it's not planted in the woods. Are you looking to add food or cover?
I like having some pine species scattered around.
They tend to be magnets for scrapes and rubs. They make nice camera sites.
White pine seedlings are gobbled here quickly;they will not survive here without fencing. Had one make it once unfenced.....out of 500 seedlings.
  • Like
Reactions: Tap
Certainly depends on your area, but I’ve only done norways, and nothing outside of a cage has survived. Nothing.

I’ve done MDC seedlings two years in a row, caging the ones I’ve planted, and they’ve done so poorly I’ll never bother again.

Now the nice quality, pricier ones I put in from Coldstream Spring 2017 are 4 feet tall and one of them might even hit 5’ this year. The outward growth has also been great, almost growing out of the 4’ wide cage. I’m planning to buy 18” replacements and avoid any wimpy seedlings or plugs. I don’t have the time for that. You get what you pay for, and them some with norways.
I'm in Indiana as well. Deer will eat white pine, but they are the last thing to go in late winter when deer are essentially starving. The pines I planted in the woods have almost all been eaten. I have a bunch of white pines around my cabin, those have not been eaten at all. Bucks will destroy a couple every year, including the ones ten feet from the front door of my cabin. Lot also depends on your deer density. Not much harm in trying to see what happens, other than the time it takes to stick them in the ground. Assuming you're using the indiana tree program, so the cost is minimal.