Buck damage... Are these trees goners?

My Hoople’s!


Not goners. Put a fence ring or something similar to keep them from further damage and I think they’ll repair themselves nicely.


I’d say they have a chance if you protect them from further damage.

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I hope so. Seems like SO MUCH of the bark is gone and they took a chunk out of part of the Hoople’s. Is there anything I should wrap them with to protect them over the winter? I was planning on just putting corrugated plastic around them to protect from rabbits and voles.

This makes me want to kill them. I need to take a bowhunting safety course.

Just get a nice Gamo pellet gun.

I would need to get a firearms permit to buy it but even then discharging that pellet gun (or even a Red Ryder BB gun, for which I’d also need a permit to purchase) would be illegal where I live.

My best legal options are putting up fencing and bowhunting. The other options that come to mind are spraying with anti-deer spray every night and getting a dog to leave out all night.

I just checked Amazon to see if there was a “loop hole”. I figured it was unlikely, and sure enough I cannot purchase a Red Ryder BB Gun from Amazon unless I have it shipped to another state.

A circle of 6’ woven wire fencing around each tree has worked for me. I overlap the wire to allow for expanding the cage as the tree grows. I get two cages from a 50’ roll.


Corrugated plastic will also protect from southwest sun scald, so that’s not a bad option. Cheap and easy, too. Kind of ugly, but it’s just until spring. But fence rings, either big enough to enclose the whole area as @northwoodswis4 suggests, or just enough to go all the way around the trunk (with some room all around) are good choices too.

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So the bark will repair itself after THIS MUCH damage? I sure hope so, I don’t want to start the ~5 year countdown all over again on these two. The deer didn’t touch my Kidd’s or any of my other fruit trees. They just took the ones I’m most looking forward to!

Seems like that’s the way it works, doesn’t it?

They’re beat up for sure, but it’s amazing what trees can come back from. Time will tell, of course, but I think it’ll be clear by next fall when you see what they’re doing to recover.

You might collect scion wood from them this winter for insurance. Wouldn’t hurt and it might be useful.

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I also put 8 to10” wide cylinders of hardware cloth around each tree trunk. Then I squirt 50-50 diluted white latex paint through the wire using a dish soap bottle. We get the paint free at a recycle place in St. Paul. Smaller trees might also get a white spiral wrap. I spray Liquid Fence deer and rabbit repellent at ground level and on higher areas the rabbits may access if snow gets deep. I’ve lost several trees to rabbits, but none to deer.

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That’s a good idea. It’d be so odd to have just one apple tree where I put the Kidd’s in. The Kidd’s is closer to the house and the two trees the deer hit are in a more “normal” location for where the apple trees might go. I put the GoldRush in the sunniest spot of all, since it’s a late ripening variety. It might not hurt to just try to plant it right in the ground at my parent’s house. Let it grow its own rootstocks.

Might want to spray the trunk with copper sulfate to prevent fungus.

Kidd’s is definitely a keeper. I haven’t fruit my Gold Rush (too far north but hoping!) so I can’t speak to that from personal experience, but it gets terrific reviews here.

Letting a tree grow out on its own roots is a fine idea. I’m too impatient to wait for a crop and I don’t have space, but those majestic, full sized apple trees are beautiful and ultimately very productive when loved. (On the other hand, even a single semi-dwarf can produce bushels every year.)

I know what a good Golden Delicious tastes like so I know old strain GD is worth planting. So a tree that’s improved on that has got to be exceptional, and that’s Hoople’s. There’s an orchard that sells GoldRush in its store here. They pick it sometime in November and then put it out. Many are picked too green and it’s pretty good but not as good as Golden Delicious, to me. What makes GoldRush so great is that it keeps for so long and its acidity when first picked makes it versatile for other uses like desserts or even cider. Hoople’s and GoldRush are intended to be winter/early spring apples for me. Kidd’s is just supposed to be what I’ve got until the Hoople’s starts.

A problem with my parent’s yard is that when they used to have one of those majestic trees. This tree was older than their circa late 1940s house and it was taller than the house. It’s a two story house. This apple tree was way out of hand and it got cut down, and the trunk attracted termites who then found their way to the house. They got the termidor put in the ground around the foundation and the apple trunk is now gone, but they had that experience. There’s got to be other termite colonies in the general area. The plus for me, as the person who wants to grow the trees, is that by the time there IS another termite problem they’ll be gone and it’ll be my problem.

I’ll have to check. If they were open to putting sheep in their back yard this shouldn’t be a hard sell.

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All my fruit trees get 36" of aluminum window screen stapled around the trunks, and 5’ cement wire cages. The cages vary in diameter from 1’ on larger trees (pretty much only to stop bucks from rubbing) to 5.5’ on small trees (stops most deer browsing as well as rubbing). Just part of the deal when growing fruit trees in areas with rodents and deer.


Maybe that’s a typo? I get 5 from a 50’ roll at 3.2’ in diameter. Two would be 16’ feet across.

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Deer are habitual offenders don’t procrastinate too long on protecting them.


The apple trees were already surrounded on all sides with tomato cages until I come up with a permanent solution for them and the other trees. The cages are standing upright and I put a post in front of each of them so that they do not fall.

Also, there are still bowhunting courses open for registration. The course I’m looking at is on November 18th and the season goes until the end of December. Hopefully I’ll get to rehome this buck to my freezer.


I put the wire in a square with four posts, 5’ x 5’ ( four sides times 5’ which makes 20’) plus five feet left for overlap and future expansion. Total per tree equals 25’. I have sometimes made smaller cages, but then they start deforming the tree when it gets cramped. I don’t plant dwarf trees this far north.

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