Tree Selection Guide

Chestnuts

If you can't tell by our name, chestnuts are our bread and butter here at Whitetail Hill Chestnuts. If we had to recommend just one tree that we think every landowner should consider planting it would be our hybrid chestnuts. Chestnuts provide excellent nutrition, unmatched drawing power, are easy to grow, and are one of the fastest producing trees you can plant with production starting in just 3-5 years.

Chestnuts have extremely high drawing power for deer. They contain large amounts of carbs that help increase fat stores ahead of winter and provide bucks with the needed energy for the rut. In fact they have 4x the carbs and 2.5x the protein of acorns. Unlike oaks, they contain no tannins. This means they have a sweet flavor that deer love. In fact, some studies have shown deer prefer chestnuts by as much as 100:1 over acorns. Chestnuts are also attractive to other wildlife such as turkeys, raccoons, squirrels, and black bears.

Our chestnuts are a hybrid variety, a cross between American and Chinese chestnuts. This gives them the blight resistance needed to avoid infection with the chestnut blight that all but wiped out the American chestnut in the early 1900's. Other traits of our hybrids include fast production (just 3-5 years) and a very large sweet nut.

Chestnuts are very easy to grow and do well in a variety of soils including marginal areas. They are hardy in zones 4-9. Production begins in just 3-5 years and will increase yearly until reaching maturity at 15-20 years. Once mature trees will produce 50-100lbs per tree per year.

Sawtooth Oaks

Sawtooth oaks are among the fastest producing oaks available, are heavy producers, and are attractive to many species. They provide a great food source for deer and turkeys and are among the easiest of our trees to grow making them a popular choice for an oak planting.

Sawtooths are heavy producers and their acorns are large and low in tannin content making them very palatable. As with most oaks, they are easy to grow and well suited to a wide variety of areas including marginal areas and poor soils. They do prefer well drained sites with good sunlight.

Sawtooths begin production in just 6-8 years. They have very few pests or disease problems and do well in a forest setting with little maintenance. Growing zones 5-9.

Deer Magnet Persimmons


Persimmons are one of our favorites for soft mast production and are a favorite fall food source for deer, raccoons, squirrels, and many other species. Persimmons are one of the few fruit trees native to the US and grow well in many marginal and unimproved areas. Deer Magnet persimmons are a variety of American persimmon designed for wildlife. They have a very late drop time with many trees still holding their persimmons until well into December making them a great choice for mid-late season attraction. Deer Magnet persimmons also have the nice habit of dropping their fruit slowly over a long period of time. The slow release of fruit acts almost like an automatic feeder bringing deer in every day to check for dropped persimmons. This makes them a particularly great selection if you're creating a stand site nearby. A loaded persimmon tree has proven deadly for many bucks that couldn't resist the taste of this American native.

Persimmon trees take 7-10 years to produce. Persimmons have male and female trees and, because of this, they should be planted in quanitities of at least 3-5 to ensure you get good pollination and fruit production.

Pears

Pears are a great soft mast tree for wildlife. They are easier to grow than most apples, have less pest and disease problems, produce heavy crops, and are prized by deer.

We offer two different types of pears with slightly different qualities:

Bartlett Pears

Bartletts are a great all purpose variety of pear with fruit that is great tasting to human and wildlife alike. They are self pollinating and are very fast growing trees. This variety is great for a wildlife planting particularly if you plan to eat some of the pears yourself.

Wild Pears

Our wild pears are the trees you often find growing on old homesteads throughout the country. The fact that they are able to do well in these conditions are a testament to their hardiness and survivability. They can survive on their own in the woods for decades with little or no care and still produce heavy crops of pears that are often destinations for the local deer herd. While still perfectly good for human consumption, they are not quite as tasty to humans as the Bartlett. Wild pears are however, a tougher tree and the deer don't seem to know the difference in taste between the two as they get mopped up daily when dropping.

Both varieties are self pollinating and produce in just 4-6 years under good conditions. Both grow in zones 4-8. Pears are a great all around soft mast tree to provide deer with great nutrition and attraction due to their heavy crops.

Apples

Considered by many to be a "wimpy" tree apples sometimes get a bad rap from conservationists. Often, the reputation is accurate as many try to grow varieties suited for orchards, which usually results in failure in a conservation setting. Most varieties of apples need a lot of care and careful selection to find a variety suited to your specific conditions, location, and soil type. That can mean wading through dozens of varieties trying to find one that will do well on your land.

We like to keep it simple, and provide trees that will do well in a wide range of conditions without constant care. That's why right now we only sell one variety of apple, our Non-Typical Apple. There are dozens of varieties of apples out there to choose from however, we feel this one is the best suited to our customers and their goals. We have selected the apples for our Non-Typical Apples to be suited for the woods, not just an orchard.

Derived from wild trees, our Non-Typical Apples have among the best traits for a wildlife tree. They can grow in neglectful conditions with little to no care, they have few problems with disease or pests meaning there is little need to spray as with most other apples, and they can thrive and produce in a wide range of conditions and soil types. With most apple varieties, each variety is only suited to a few growing zones due to very specific chill hour requirements (hours spent below 45 degrees). Our Non-Typical Apples have no chill hour requirements meaning they will do great anywhere in zone 3-7.

Despite having no chill requirements, they are very cold hardy and are one of the few offerings we have that will survive zone 3.