to leave trees in pasture or not?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by crwilson, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. crwilson

    crwilson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Hey people im clearing someextra pasture for my homestead this summer, and well since its the first time raising animals on my own, wouild it be a good idea to leave some trees iin the pasture for the cows to scratch and sun themselves on? and how much of the pasture should you leave treed if any? spaced out or all together?

    Id appreciate any input on this subject

    Oh yeah any certain side or end of the pasture better than another for leaving trees EX. North end

    Thanks Rick
     
  2. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    You're going to need some shade for any animals really, and trees make the best cool shade in the summer. I'd look at the pasture, and make sure I left sufficient, large shade in there for all hours of the day, according the the shadows the trees would cast. I would think in the middle, a nice clump would be best, for morning and afternoon shade. I wish I had more trees up here in my pastures. Tall tree lines at the edges, but not big ones in the centers but a couple. Hot summertime, you'll be wanting shade for them. Buildings do not provide the cooling shade of a good tree.
     

  3. momanto

    momanto SW FLORIDA HAPPYLAND

    Messages:
    440
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    That Question Has Already Been Settled For Me. We Inherited 3 Diverse Parcels Of About 40+ Acres Each In Sw Florida. One Has A 3 Acree Pond At The End With Some Shade. The Rest Has About 15 Oak Trees Scattered About. In Sev. Places There Are About 3 Trees All In One Place. It Is Real Nice, They Need The Shade Sometime. When There Is A Rain Storm They Will Go As Far As They Can Ahead Of The Storm And Stay There Until It Is Over. Sometimes They Are Lucky And Get A Tree Covering.

    Another 40 Acre Parcel Is A Square Of About 1330.00 Feet On Each Side. I Just Looked At The Aerial Map And It Has About 26 Large Oak Trees. The South Side Has About 7 Of These Oaks Near The Border. The East Side Has Several .. Then The Rest Spread At Random. There Are At Least 50 Misc. Pines Spread At Random. But We Do Have A Two Acre Palm And Palmetto Patch Reserved For When We Have Freezes And Hard Freezes. This Is A Scenic And Healthful Pasture. Great Grasslands.

    Our Third Parcel Is Odd Shaped And Couldnt Really Give You An Ans. On It, It Has Wild Citrus Trees, Some Cypress, Jillion Of Cabbage Trees And At Least One Big Oak And Some Smaller. I Would Not Chop Down A One. This 45 Acre Pasture Supported 25 Cows For 6 Months.
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,275
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    What happens is the cattle trample the gound under the tree, & make it bare - muddy. No production there.

    If you have many cattle & few trees, as they use them for scratching posts & end up killing the trees over the years.

    If you have many trees, the shade is shading your grass, & you will not have as good a grass growing for feed.

    You might wish to plan for some of these things, as best you can.
    Depends if you are trying to use all your grass, or this is just for fun & you will have more grass than you need anyhow....

    --->Paul
     
  5. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Messages:
    7,380
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    east ont canada
    pastured cows under trees for years! we have spruce windbreaks up and down the farm that the cows would rest under during the heat of the day. had some die off but just as many died were they were not pastured. i would leave some at the edge of the pasture or if there is a rocky spot leave the trees there.neighbour of ours has witered his heifers and horses in a cedar bush at the edge of their summmer pasture for better than 35 years that i know of.(probably longer just lived here that long)
     
  6. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    missoula, montana
    Reserch agroforestry and permaculture.

    Lots of folks will thin a forest to have about 1/4 the trees of a normal forest and the remaining trees grow almost four times faster. In the meantime, enough sun reaches the forest floor for the cattle forage to grow. Often times, the forage growing near a tree does better than the forage with no trees because the trees keep it from getting too hot. Some trees (such as locusts) will actually feed the soil. Other trees with deep tap roots will bring moisture up from down very deep in the ground and transpire the water out of it's leaves.

    With a bit of angle on the sun, the shade of a tall tree will move around the pasture, thus moving the animals about the pasture.
     
  7. D

    D Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    48
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    NW AR Ozark foothills
    The hotter it is in the summer where-ever you live, the more likely your critters would appreciate the shade. Also, if any of your pasture is on a grade, like a hillside, then the more you need some kind of vegetation to help slow down erosion. If you ever plan on bushhogging or cutting hay off your pasture, then having trees in one corner or around the edges is easier for manuevering the tractor. Check out number of acres per cow recommended for your area; consider having more than one pasture, and rotate the livestock to keep the fields more productive.
     
  8. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    If you are interested in maintaining bird and wildlife habitat as well as shade for your stock, the best configuration would be long, narrow hedges or corridors that extend from one wooded area to another. It makes mowing easier than having a multitude of lonely trees scattered about, also.
     
  9. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    Forgot to add, we did have one Wild Cherry tree, pretty tall, bordering the yard/pasture, that we cut down and keep it from growing back. Those can be of great risk to stock, as their leaves are toxic when withered, and we just didn't want to chance it.