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Early Spring Fruit – Top Picks for North and South from Chestnut Hill Outdoors

If you want to attract and hold more and healthier wildlife on your property, you need to provide the proper amount and type of natural food to meet all their year-round nutritional needs. Spring and early summer are important nutritional periods for wildlife. Newborn whitetail fawns are putting tremendous nutritional stress on nursing does, and buck antler growth rates have kicked into overdrive. Meanwhile, rapidly growing young wild turkeys, grouse, pheasants, quail and other small game birds and mammals scour the landscape for food. Chestnut Hill Outdoors offers an array of soft mast producers to fill your wildlife nutrition calendar gaps.

When selecting stock, it’s important to choose plant species specifically adapted for the climate in your area. One of the best tools for determining this is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. It divides the nation into 10-degree F zones based on average annual minimum winter temperatures. These Zones or Regions are then used to describe the range in which plants are adapted to and can be grown. 

Use the link to plug in the zip code where you will be planting.

USDA Plant Hardiness Plant Zone Map Link


Mulberries are the first soft mast shrub to fruit in spring, as early as April and May in the deep south and early June further north. Chestnut Hill Outdoors offers several varieties. Everbearing Mulberry (Morus rubra), which includes black, white and native red varieties, is best suited for Zones 7-10. It grows in a bush-like form providing an abundance of both fruit and cover. Similarly, Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) grows in a taller tree form and produces what many consider to be the highest quality mulberry fruits. 

FEATURES Everbearing Black

Height at Maturity: 10-15′ 30′-40′

Spread: 15-20′ 15-20′

Tree Form: modified leader modified leader

Or multi-trunk

Bloom: April – May April – May 

Fruit Drop: April – May April – May

Light requirements: Full sun Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained Well-drained, can handle

wet soil if seasonal and well drained

Pollination: Self-fertile Self-fertile

All trees are shipped bare-root.

Size shipped: 12 – 24 inches


Chestnut Hill Outdoors also offers a pair of native plums. American plum (Prunus americana) produces abundant early summer fruit and creates a thicket of cover for many wildlife species. Its wide range of temperature tolerance makes it a great option in most zones. Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia) also does well in all but the coldest zones and forms suckers that create thickets wildlife use for bedding and cover.

FEATURES American Chickasaw

Height at Maturity: 15-25′ 10′-25′

Spread: 10-20′ 10-20′

Tree Form: modified leader modified leader

USDA Zone: 3-8 5-9

Bloom: February – April February – April

Fruit Drop: June – July June – July

Light requirements: Full sun Full sun

Above are just a couple of the top sources of spring and early summer soft mast. Chestnut Hill Outdoors also offers other varieties of peach, nectarine, blueberry and blackberry to help fill gaps nutritional in your calendar to ensure wildlife get what they need when they need it.

Chestnut Hill is the best place for you to purchase your food plot and deer attractant plants because they offer a large selection, their plants are specifically bred to attract deer, and they offer customers different sized plants at different levels of growth.

For more information, please visit


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Source: Huntinglife