Wildlife Management

Why You Should Plant Fruit Trees as Food Plots

If you’re considering what kind of food plot to plant to attract whitetail deer to your hunting land, fruit tree food plots should be at the top of your list. With a little planning and preparation, perennial plots can last throughout the year, provide great nutritional value to deer and other game on your land and they’re less work than typical row plots. But don’t just take it from us. Here’s what the experts at Chestnut Hill Outdoors have to say about the benefits of fruit tree plots.


A Continual Food Supply Throughout the Year

One of the benefits of planting fruit tree food plots is that you can extend the harvest season to last all year long. Plant a range of different species that bear fruit and nuts as early as April with others that continue to produce all the way until Christmas. Whitetail will be able to rely on your plot as a continuous food supply throughout the year, rather than having to leave to seek out the sustenance they need elsewhere as the seasons change.

Deer will be enticed to your plot if you plant any of these tasty fruit trees:

Nutritional Value

The nutrition deer get from food plots with perennial trees is much better than what they would get from traditional brassicas and clovers. The sugar and carbohydrates produced from fruit are far more beneficial to deer than those from a herbaceous plot. Similar to the way someone would "carbo-load" for a lengthy race, bucks need the same kind of boost in energy during the rut. They most easily get that energy from the sugar and carbs in fruit and certain types of nuts. The top sources are fall-ripening pears, persimmons, also known as "deer candy,” and chestnuts. Chestnuts are especially beneficial for bucks during this season – they’re comprised of 4 percent carbs, 10 percent protein and the rest is water.

Easy to Maintain

People often plant corn, soybeans and other row crops for annual food plots, but those methods require much more maintenance throughout the year. You’ll need to buy seed, fertilize, and plow with loud equipment that could disturb the game. Bottom line, it’s a lot of work. But with perennials, the upkeep is far less labor-intensive. You may have to pull some weeds occasionally, but the work is mostly done once you’ve planted the trees. Each year, the trees grow bigger and become more productive, creating a renewed food source for deer on your property for decades to come.


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