Deer protection


#1

We went away for a couple of days last week and I arrived home to deer induced fruit tree carnage. They ate most of the growth off of my young apples, pears and plums and broke a number of limbs. Prior to the carnage these trees were growing like mad and filling out really nicely. My results so far with plantskydd have been spotty so I ventured off to Lowe’s and $200 later I have 10’ wire circles surrounding all of my young trees:

The deer didn’t touch my peaches which was a bit of a surprise. I’ll remove the cages in a year or two and will adjust the diameter as they start to branch out. If I lived in the country bambi would be in the freezer now.


#2

Deer normally don’t eat the peach leaves however, given the opportunity for the bucks to scrape them they will, and can really tear them up. So having some sort of protection around trees is a must.


#3

I’ve only seen does so far which may explain why I haven’t seen scraping damage. Everything they would be inclined to eat is now caged or fenced in and I have been whizzing plantskydd everywhere. I’m going to make up a nice batch of the egg repellent that was suggested on here this weekend. Planning to disperse that around the trail they use to enter our property. Hoping if I stay vigilant with eggs and blood I can divert them to one of my neighbors homes. They seem to like hostas more than fruit trees. :slight_smile:


#4

This is the same thing I do, put 5’ cages around every tree and prune so the foliage is above the browse level of the deer.

Don’t take the cages down ever! I made that mistake once and the deer chewed the bark off the trees during an exceptionally cold winter. I have also had bucks the bark off with their antlers.


#5

How many feet off the ground do you keep your cages? 5’? What is the typical deer browse level height?


#6

Around here no more than 5ft. They don’t go up on their hind legs very often.


#7

String some monofilament fishing line between the cages. Deer can’t see it at night and it spooks them and they stay away …sometimes. Don’t forget to put chicken wire cages around the trunks, if you double it, you will get some mouse, rabbit, and vole protection. Best luck!


#8

Sorry to hear about the damage @Mickster, I know how it feels to see the carnage those hooved devils can leave behind.

Fishing line worked for my veggie plots last year. I got the idea from one member on here about having two perimeters of electrified wires. I don’t have the means to run live wire fencing, so I used just some simple fishing line. My tomato patch had two perimeters, and I went a couple months before I noticed any deer intrusions. The cucumber and sweet potato patches just had one perimeter and they went unscathed.

Tomorrow I am transplanting all my 'mater’s, so I will definitely be getting out the fishing line. But, I’m not getting too confident about my idea, it may have worked last year, but who knows about this year. Just my opinion, but I wouldn’t trust any of my veggie or fruits to spray deterrents alone.

I still use 4ft welded wire fencing around all my apple trees, and either 3ft or 4ft fencing on all my other trees. I’m not going to risk using fishing line around my trees just yet. Maybe I ought to try it on one of the apples that I’m not too attached to as an experiment.


#9

You use the fishing line between the cages, it spooks the deer and they find another path.