Not only are trees lovely to see, they can be an important integral component to your grazing regime. If you’re looking for something new this year, try out agroforestry and silvopasture which is simply utilizing trees to extend your land’s potential. This can include many things but the basics for this discussion are to use browseable woody species to feed livestock. Trees can tap into moisture and nutrients deep in the ground and maintain high quality edible foliage through drought periods as well as take advantage of the vertical space overhead and provide shade for the soil and livestock. The best species to use in most of the U.S. are elms, hackberry, willow, boxelder, pecan, honeylocust, blacklocust, acacia, silk tree, mulberry, ash, mesquite and cottonwood.
Tree management techniques include coppicing, pollarding, tree-grassing, intercropping and pleaching. Trees can also be used as living-fence hedgerows and can offer additional value-added long term revenue streams from fruit to lumber for the ranch.