Extending Woods - Knowledgebase Question

Wading River, NY
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Question by pwk516
March 24, 1998
I have a 1 acre, rectangular plot of grass with woods as a border on one side. I want to extend the woods into the grassy area (about 1/3 acre) by planting trees (eliminating the grass). The wooded area has a mixture of pine, maple and oak trees. Any ideas on the best way to quickly reforest this grassy area with these and/or other trees? Spacing of trees? Compatible versus incompatible trees?
Thank You

Answer from NGA
March 24, 1998
There are so many options here it is hard to know where to begin. If you want to "quickly" reforest the area, you can choose fast-growing trees like poplars. However, fast-growing trees tend to be relatively short-lived, and don't always makethe best landscape plants. Are you interested in attracting wildlife? A mix of fruiting trees, conifers, and shade trees would provide good habitat. If you truly want to extend the forest, you'll want to plant the same or very similar trees. These are fairly slow-growing trees, so it won't be a quick project. How about a mix of these slow-growing native trees, with faster-growing apple trees and shrubs?

To really eliminate the grass, you'll have to plant the trees relatively close together. An conifer trees, especialy white pine, seem to be the best at stunting the grass underneath them.

Whatever trees you choose to plant, be sure to treat them well, at least in their first few seasons of growth. Provide water during dry spells,mulch the area around them to reduce competition from grass, use great care when mowing or trimming, and watch for signs of pests.

Do you have a county forester in your region? They may be willing to come out and have a look at the site, and offertheir expertise.

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