Hardwood tree plantings can be conducted to help re-forest old fields, create wildlife corridors and create young forest habitat. These plantings often focus on heavy-seeded mast species such as oak, walnut and hickory which can be difficult to regenerate naturally.
Small areas and areas with steep slopes or poor access can be hand planted. Areas accessible by tractor should be planted with a mechanical tree planter. In either case, it is important to conduct appropriate site preparation to reduce weed competition.
A variety of spacing densities can be used to develop different habitat types. Dense spacings of 6ft by 6ft will encourage tall, straight tree growth, but require frequent stand thinning as the trees grow. Lighter spacings such as 12ft by 12ft will encourage a more open growth formed tree with lots of branches and delayed canopy closure.