Released: November 17, 2006
Kansas Forest Service, Bird Groups Offer New Shrub Planting for Pheasants
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Forest Service, in cooperation with Pheasants Forever and Quail Unlimited, has created a new Pheasant Bundle for its 2007 Conservation Tree Planting Program.
The service will begin accepting orders for this 100-seedling shrub bundle, as well as all other species offered through the years program, on Dec.5.
The Pheasant Bundle was specifically designed to fit leftover areas that otherwise go unused in crop fields. A great example of that is the corners of central-pivot irrigated fields, said Joshua Pease, KFS conservation forester who coordinates the annual program.
The specially designed bundle costs $68. It contains sandhill plums, Peking cotoneasters and skunkbush sumacs (only available in this offering). Pheasants Forever and Quail Unlimited highly recommend all three species for creating habitat in central and western Kansas.
When planted as the instructions describe, each bundle will occupy about 60 by 60 feet. Once established, the plants will fill in the undisturbed sites and create excellent cover for upland game birds, Pease said. If you add just one bundle each year, you can quickly establish excellent habitat for pheasants and quail, yet not overwhelm yourself in the process. You can easily plant one bundle in a single day.
The three shrub species create excellent habitat for nesting and brood-raising, plus provide some food, the forester said. The Peking cotoneaster is a non-native species that does not spread or create thickets, but does produce excellent cover with its thick leaves. Skunkbush sumac and sandhill plum are both native plants that are thicket-forming in undisturbed sites.
The success of our shrubs is very high. People are amazed at how well they perform, Pease said. If nothing else, these three species are extremely drought-tolerant. Skunkbush sumac, for example, can survive in clay to very sandy soils where rainfall is 10 to 20 inches a year.
Each year, the Kansas Forest Service opens the Conservation Tree Planting Program on the first Monday in December and generally closes sales (depending on weather) the first Monday in May.
More information about the program and its 2007 offerings are available by calling Pease at 785-532-3312, by contacting any district forester or county or district Kansas State University Research and Extension office. Information can also be accessed on the Kansas Forest Services Web site at http://www.kansasforests.org/conservation/.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Joshua Pease is at 785-532-3312, firstname.lastname@example.org