Deer pecking order

When deer come around biting on your fruit trees what is their pecking order? Before I put up my fence I had bites on my apple and plum trees but none on the pear trees. Do deer eat pear trees or did I just get lucky?

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They don’t like figs, pawpaw or goumi but seem to eat all the others

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Deer here seem to graze on pear and apple foliage alike. I’ve not caught them eating fruit from either, but I’m sure they must. I generally keep drops picked up fairly well and haven’t noticed any missing fruit that I can’t attribute to squirrels.

(Off-topic: I just ate my first Goldrush from the scions you sent me. It wasn’t fully ripe but it was damaged on the tree and I decided to chance it. It’s clearly going to be an excellent apple. I’m pretty excited at the prospect of getting a few to sample whenever we have a long enough season. This year things got off to a slow start, and it never did get really hot this summer, but still, this was a memorable apple. Thanks for sending it!)

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@Auburn

They prefer apples just like rabbits and everything else. One trick you can do is train your deer and other herbivores. Before you laugh to loud consider thorns are great training for deer. Plant out my rootstock then graft them over later. They rip my trees up once in awhile when they are small but then they start cutting a wide path around my trees.

As they get larger I prune them then graft them. Notice that photo has snow on the ground but there is no rabbit or deer damage. Pyrus Betulifolia Asian pear rootstock

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man that looks like the wild hawthorn we have here. sucks bumping into them while picking fiddleheads in the spring or chasing grouse that like to hide in them and eat their fruit. i wonder if apple could be grafted to hawthorn?

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This thread will help you with grafting hawthorn Grafting onto Hawthorn - Crataegus (propagation forum at permies)
" Grafting onto Hawthorn - Crataegus

herbert prohl ,

Oct 26, 2015 01:50:06

(1 apple) 2

+Pie

]Grafting onto Hawthorn - Crataegus[/size]

Following is a list of fruit species to graft onto hawthorn root stock… (all from the Rosaceae family).

If you have wild growing hawthorns why not graft your favourite fruit tree onto them.

I will not graft all the hawthorns growing here, the oldest will remain as a valuable resource for domestic bees and all other insects looking for pollen and nectar in spring and also for the medical use of the flowers & fruit.

Grafting low will prevent too many wild suckers growing below the graft union and will allow to mount soil up above the graft union to allow formation of own roots for difficult graft unions like pear or juneberry …

1. All “other” Crataegus interesting for bigger fruits, e.g.: Crataegus arnoldiana, Crataegus azarolus, Crataegus durobrivensis, Crataegus ellwangeriana, Crataegus missouriensis, Crataegus schraderiana, Crataegus submollis, Crataegus succulenta, Crataegus tanacetifolia

2. German medlar, (Mespilus germanica), used by nurseries, easy.

3. Quince, (Cydonia oblonga), (Chaenomeles cathayensis), also as intermediate graft/inter-stock for pears & apples, quince overgrows hawthorn, but to a lesser degree than pear, easy.

4. Mountain ash, (Sorbus aucuparia), e.g. cultivar “Concentra” …

5. Juneberry, (Amélanchier …) - best grafted low and after a few years mount soil up above the graft union to allow formation of own roots, easy.

6. Chokeberry, (Aronia melanocarpa), also commonly called black chokeberry, best grafted low and after a few years mount soil up above the graft union to allow formation of own roots.

7. Pear, (Pyrus communis), try the varieties “Joséphine de Malines” or “Beurré Le Brun” as first (or final), intermediate graft and then your choice of pear, otherwise best grafted low and after a few years mount soil up above the graft union to allow formation of own roots, pear overgrows hawthorn and might need a tutor to avoid breaking at the graft union.
http://mapassionduverger.fr/greffage/greffage-sur-aubepine/

8. Service tree, (Sorbus domestica), not easy.

9. Japanese medlar, (Eriobotrya japonica), adds cold hardiness to medlar, not easy.

Where to get scion wood? Here, the goldmine for scion wood: http://fruitiers.net/, if you need help signing in let me know.

Have fun grafting ,;- )

Please note: Hawthorn is a fire-blight host
"

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Deer will eat pears, but it is not their favorite. They love cherry, apple, and mulberry the most, but they will go for whatever they can get.

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I was under the impression that deer love pears. I had two hunters at different times stop by my orchard when I was out next to the road. They were interested in any pears that I had that were going bad or that I was not going to use. They seemed to indicate the deer, around here anyway, love pears. I have a lot more apples but they were interested in the pears not my apple seconds.

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@MikeC

Deer love pear fruit but not as much the wood. They prefer apple wood over pear wood in my opinion. This is kind of like fishing though in my area they might eat pear fruit just because they are used to it versus apples. Catfish in your pond may eat worms but in mine you catch more with minnows. Whatever something is used to. If you were a deer do you suppose you tried my thorny pears once and remember that thorny splinter festering in your nose for 3 months? They cut a wide path around my trees for the most part but occasionally browse on a few buds. Apple trees are heavily targeted here. My mom said the other day she would never forget that pear thorn she stepped on. The thorns seem to have some poison in them that causes infection as @Derby42 brought up years ago. My blackberries are the same way the puncture will swell and fill with pus.

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Yes, I agree about the deer eating the apple wood vs the pear wood. True, those pear thorns make horrible infection even if you try to clean the wound. Something about those thorns and infection and itching, ouch!

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Deer here eat pear leaves/wood just as readily as apple. Wild cherry pretty much goes untouched. Wild plum is only browsed when young.

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It is easy to see why deer would avoid this tree.

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I see several Callery pear trees around here that are heavily thorned. I didn’t anticipate needing any more rootstock so I removed the ones growing in my new orchard area. No problem as I found three nice ones just past my property line. They are a good size to transplant and graft.

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@Auburn

Anything that thinks it’s eating our callery or BET rootstock trees will soon find out why it shouldn’t have. By the time the tree is 5 or 6 years old every deer around has had enough. Had a buck once that used those thorns to clean up his antlers. That was the only thing that ever picked on one of my trees. One year all the elm trees were girdled but the cottontails left those trees of mine alone. Lost a bunch to beavers this year but I expect they will grow back. A beaver that’s tough enough to eat those thorny pears earned some respect from me. He was obviously starving he even ate down a multiflora rose. He moved on and I don’t blame him. Figured it would be easier to graft them next year to new wood anyway. If he didn’t top them I would have when I grafted them. Been waiting to make sure he was gone before I start grafting. Might have killed him had I felt better this year but I wasn’t up to it.

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thanks Clark.

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Beaver. Now that’s a pest that hadn’t occurred to me. There actually are some in the area.

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@northwoodswis4

Surprised me a little as well. Kansas is not known for lots of trees and especially not my place. This beaver was a small one and showed up chasing ice melt water that dumped into the creek out of my pond. He saw all that water and was hoping he found a wooded paradise. I let him clear back the brushy scrub from the waters edge at the pond. Honestly thought a Bob cat or coyote pack would catch him on the bank and eat him. Luck smiled on him last year and then he moved back down stream. Who knows he might have needed an isolated place to grow up a little before he returned to the main creek.

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Deer do not “graze”. They “browse”. Cattle “graze”. :face_with_monocle:.

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How about when they eat grass along the roadside? That would be grazing, right?

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No, deer are known as browsers. Supposedly it is just semantics though.

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