Tree protection methods during the silvopastoral-system establishment in midwestern USA: Cattle performance and tree damage

J. W. Lehmkuhler, E. E.D. Felton, D. A. Schmidt, K. J. Bader, H. E. Garrett, M. S. Kerley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Silvopastoral systems offer an alternative to the conventional cow-calf segment of the beef industry in the Mid-western region of the United States. Little information exists for transitioning from a conventional pasture-based beef operation to a silvopastoral system utilizing multiple deciduous tree species. Nine pastures approximately 1 ha in size were established with a mixture of cool-season grasses and legumes to investigate tree protection methods and cattle performance. Four tree species (Juglans nigra, Gleditsia triacanthos, Quercus rubra, & Carya illinoensis) were planted within six of these pastures. Three methods of protection were tested, and included a no protection control (Con), foliar application of 0.20% denatonium benzoate (TreeGuard™), or a single strand of electrified poly-wire (EF) in each of the two grazing years. Cattle damage to young trees was prominent during the two years for Con and TreeGuard™. EF offered acceptable protection. Red oak trees suffered the highest degree of damage from livestock. Establishing trees within grazed pastures did not hinder performance of beef cattle. Transitioning from conventional pastures to silvopastures can be accelerated utilizing an electrified fencing system to prevent cattle damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this project was provided through USDA Agricultural Research Service. Additionally, we would like to thank the personnel at HARC and fellow graduate students for their assistance. Lastly, we would like to recognize Becker Underwood, Inc. for donation of the Tree Guard™ utilized in this study.


  • Carya illinoensis
  • Denatonium benzoate
  • Electrified poly-wire
  • Gleditsia triacanthos
  • Juglans nigra
  • Quercus rubra
  • Ruminant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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