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  • Category Archives: How To

    Giant Cuttings – Rubbing Posts!

    Giant cuttings – Buck Rubbing Posts

    The idea behind rubbing posts is to draw deer to a known location near a treestand.  Think 20 yards off the edge of a field in front of one of your favorite setups.  The idea of cutting down a basswood tree and ‘planting’ it in the field has been used by many people for the last few years.  The problem is, the basswood tree is only good for one season.  And you usually have to add the licking branches manually with some lumber and fasteners.  We were hoping to come up with a way to plant a permanent rubbing post.  Below you will read about our success and failure with this experiment.

    In the spring of 2014 the cutting crew planted some really big cuttings.  We used 3 year old Hybrid Poplars that had been planted too close together and needed to be thinned.  We cut them off at the ground giving us a really big cutting to plant.

    20+ foot cutting, ready to plant.


    Living Willow Dome Construction

    Living Willow Dome

    Last spring my son Jake and I built a 8 foot wide, 5 foot tall willow dome.  This was the 2nd dome we installed at our home in West Central Wisconsin.

    Site preparation consisted of clearing the ground of all vegetation so we could install the landscape fabric.  The fabric keeps the weeds down and the moisture in.  Allowing the dome to grow with less competition for nutrients, water, and sunlight.  Here is the 1st step once we had completed:

    Willow Dome 4

    Ground cover fabric, ready to begin installing the dome!


    Using a piece of chalk, after finding the center of the fabric, we marked the locations for each willow whip:

    Fabric, marked with whip locations.


    Cuttings explained

    How do hardwood cuttings work?  This brief explaination should give you a better understanding.  If we left anything out please leave a comment and let us know how to improve it!

    The term “cuttings” can cover a broad range of topics.  For the sake of this discussion we are talking about dormant, non-rooted “live stake” cuttings like the one pictured below.

    A 12″ Elderberry Cutting


    Cuttings – Plastic or Fabric?

    Using plastic or fabric, commonly referred to as “mulch” will dramatically improve the success of your cuttings.  A layer of mulch will reduce competition from weeds and other plants, and increase water retention.

    Hybrid Cuttings – grow a windbreak and screen in one season.

    This article will show you how to grow a visual screen/wind break using hybrid cuttings (hybrid poplar and hybrid willow) in a single growing season.  The planting site is located in USDA Zone 4, if you live south of Zone 4 you can expect considerably more growth.

    7′ wide strip roto-tilled into an existing yard.