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restoring old shelter belts--SH??....

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Chuckie

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ok people, i'm a "long-time listener, first-time caller". i have an old shelterbelt, need some ideas as to what to take out, what to leave in.. i do want to maintain wildlife habitat (which is why i've simply let it go "natural" for the last 5 yrs), but it's getting too trashy- i think. if it helps, it's about 50 yds wide, 200 yds long, runs west to east. any help will be much appreciated! :roll:
 

Jason

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What kind of trees and how much is still alive?

Going in with a chain saw and cutting dead fall is always a good idea. Dead limbs can still be drawing on the trees resources.

The continued drought has been hard on trees, they might need extra water. If you have the ability to get them some water it certianly wouldn't hurt.

Some good compost and and or other fertilizer could be a benefit too.
 

frasercattleco

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Chuckie,

Most people will leave brush, and thick vegetation such as willows in there, but willows and other fast spreading hearty trees will starve the other native trees of nutrients and h2o. The first thing would be get rid of all of the weeds, grass, and small vegetation around the perimeter, spread some time release fertilizer, and plant small cottonwood trees in the spaces. Make sure to cut the vegetation in the summer when it is not dormant, you will have less re-growth that way, and plant the smaller trees out of their growing season to lessen stress on the fragile little plants.
 

Chuckie

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here's the quandry: this is an older shelter belt (trees 50' high), i want to maintain some wildlife habitat, encourage mushroom growth with downed trees, yet keep and encourage new (good) growth. should i just call my extension agent? or save parts and renew parts? you guys have the answers, you've done it......i have faith...
 
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Chuckie- get a few (don't know how big an area you have) sheep or goats-- they'll clean out a shelterbelt for you and keep the trash and weeds from growing back-fertilize it at the same time........
 

Chuckie

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oldtimer, been thinking about getting some goats anyway, but should i chainsaw/burn dead stuff? and will the goats eat the small but good stuff ? (bet they will...!) and should i even worry about it at this stage? remember, we're talking 50 yards wide by 200 long. i hate decisions sometimes :!:
 

Denny

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chuckie said:
oldtimer, been thinking about getting some goats anyway, but should i chainsaw/burn dead stuff? and will the goats eat the small but good stuff ? (bet they will...!) and should i even worry about it at this stage? remember, we're talking 50 yards wide by 200 long. i hate decisions sometimes :!:

My dad has a creek bottom by his house full of brush and poisen ivy he fenced it 2 years ago put some goats in there now it looks like a park.Now they graze a couple of horses in there...
 

Chuckie

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so, i guess i'll get a couple of goats (BTW--the goat-meat market is supposed to be under-supplied for the next 20 yrs-yes,twenty-in the US of A,ask agman if you don't believe me), clear that old shelterbelt out and make a ton of money. :lol: it's on a good enough slope that i doubt i'll miss out on many 'shrooms anyway...sigh.....just have to do the math: how many 90# goats does it take to load a 50,000# bull rack??
 

Big Muddy rancher

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chuckie said:
so, i guess i'll get a couple of goats (BTW--the goat-meat market is supposed to be under-supplied for the next 20 yrs-yes,twenty-in the US of A,ask agman if you don't believe me), clear that old shelterbelt out and make a ton of money. :lol: it's on a good enough slope that i doubt i'll miss out on many 'shrooms anyway...sigh.....just have to do the math: how many 90# goats does it take to load a 50,000# bull rack??

Your a braver man then me. The saying goes that you build a fence then throw water on it .If any goes thru so will goats. :cowboy:
 

Faster horses

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That's funny, BMR. Hadn't heard that before.

This subject reminds me of my husband going to our neighbors where they had baby goats. Animal lover that he is, when he got home he really talked about those goats and how cute they were, and that he would like to have a couple. I said, "NO. Don't even think about it." It hurt his feelings but he got over it.

Some weeks later he was back over there. When he came home he told me how glad he was that I said NO to the goats. They were on top of the vehicles and he didn't think they were nearly so cute then!!
 

rancher

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I had a brother that raised goats to milk for calves. They are just like kids, you punish them when they do wrong they listen. He had 8 of them and never had one crawl a fence or get on an outfit. Picky eaters as if he switched grain they would go off it, but then these were milkers.
 

Chuckie

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i have to tell you that the best fence for goats that i ever found (and i used to breed dairy goats back home when i was "young"), is electric fence, 3 to 4 strands. they don't climb it (!), and if you can break the kids to it when it's wet out (good connection, ya know!), they'll never really test it (unlike some cows i've known). as a matter of fact, the only time i can recall that fence being broken was when we took one of the does away to be bred, and our horse got so upset that he ran thru it, hollering the whole way! he was NOT happy at being deprived of his buddy (even tho there were 4 other goats to keep him company).
 

Faster horses

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I just remembered another 'goat' story.

In Western Montana, our hayground laid up on a bench behind the house. We wintered the cows there. One morning my husband heard the cows clear down at the house. They were bawling something awful. He went to check and there was a big ole' Billy Goat in with those cows. Were they ever upset about it! They didn't like it even a little bit. They were chasing the poor goat all over the place. It was funny. Ny husband was horseback and decided to rope the goat to get him out of the cows. The horse he was riding was kind of spooky anyway, and he didn't want to get very close to the goat. He run up on him, and then kind of suck back, so that was funny as well. Finally, my husband got a rope on the goat and then he wished he hadn't. That Billy goat stunk so bad, he had to throw his rope away!!!
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I was down visiting Dale Fellman at Jordan MT. His ranch was next to Benny Binion's place. Well anyways they had a goat that showed up out of nowhere,and there is a lot of that in that country and just hung with the cows for a couple of years.
 

Chuckie

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FH, i bet that poor horse thought your guy wanted him to rope a skunk-something no self-respecting cowhorse would do. wish i could've been there... :lol: (i love those emoticons!) anyway, there is a way to really reduce the smell of a buck goat, but we didn't have enough does to make a buck worth our while to keep at the time. the bad part was, when the horse bailed, he only had about 100 yds to go before he hit a highway so we all kinda panicked, but got him caught and put up before a disaster occurred.
i hear stories from drivers about how hard it is to load goats--they don't drive like cattle and sheep do!
 

Brad S

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OK Chuckie, this is Ranchers Net, and we don't agree on anything. I don't think you want any goats in your rejuvenating shelterbelt as they'll eat down all new trees.

I see you're from NE Nebraska, is that north east enough to be an oak/hickory biome? I'd like to see you get a bunch of oaks growing 20 years ago, or as soon as possible. Now you will need to evaluate your canapy, perhaps the young trees will need more sunlight. BTW Nebraska has a great forrestry service, and you can use your computer for access.
 

Chuckie

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brad s-- i dug out my tree id book, will attempt to use it (perhaps this weekend), plus email my trusty ext agents this week. i know 2 things for sure about the shelterbelt: 1) has too many mulberrys in the fringes, and 2) i need to id the canopy trees. then maybe get the goats in there to clear crap brush/trees, pull them out, remove (or maybe not) deadwood and do judicious replanting...
 

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