Today I noticed that the deer eat a lot of leaves from my apple trees, cherries and plum trees! What is the best and efficient way to deter deer away from fruit trees? Thanks
Someone told me to hung bar soaps on the trees and I just did it but I’m wonder if there is other way? Just because I feel weird thinking about the bar soap it’s going to eventually dissolve with the rain and I’m wondering if the soap will do any damage to the fruit trees!
6 foot orchard fence. Abundant deer here but they are more happy with the field grass and clover. Never jumped into orchard or garden. The trees off on their own get welded wire fence rings around them till they get a few years old.
There have been discussion about deer many times in several threads.
Here’s one of them. My deer rant - #11 by forestandfarm.
Many good ideas and suggestions in that thread.
Thanks for your comment and the info! Eventually that’s what I would like to do on the future, unfortunately I can’t afford the expense of the fence and t posts or poles. I own 3.5 acres but two of those 3.5 I would like to fenced in. So really I’m looking for something to help for the moment.
IME there is nothing besides wire fence that solves the deer problem. There are some short term fixes that may (or may not) help for periods of time, but they all end up in heartbreak eventually.
Ruben. Probably the most effective and cost effective measure for apple trees is using 5 or 6 foot tree shelters. You can find on Amazon for some examples. I use Plantra. These shelters on a pruned back tree with a good solid support stake like rebar or a T post will allow your trees to grow above the browse line. I think you would be happy with how well they work. They also work well on other new fruit trees as well. One of the keys is pruning back lateral branches until the tree is out of the top of the tube. Good luck
Thank you @Coot4 By any chance do you have pics of them so I can see what I’m looking for! I’ll try to look them up.
I plant a lot of trees for wildlife. I like to use Remesh as cages. It is stiff enough to stand on its own without support, so I use a single t post per cage. 5’ tall is plenty. Window screen at the truck protects from rodent damage. I find that 3’ diameter is enough to protect the tree from significant deer damage. They will browse limbs that hang down over or protrude through the cage as the tree grows, but that is just pruning and doesn’t hurt the tree. It protects the central leader from being browsed creating a bush rather than a tree and it protects from deer rubbing antlers on the tree.
While my favorite solution is a well placed arrow, that only eliminates one deer at a time. On the up side, it does fill my freezer. Unfortunately, you can’t harvest enough in most areas to prevent damage without cages.
This is one style on Amazon just type in the search block. 60" Miracle Tree Tube
I’ve used tree tubes for many years. They are better than nothing, but deer can (and do) still browse the trees. Bucks also seem to have a real affinity for beating the tar out of tubes in the fall.
@forestandfarm that’s a great idea! I’m going get prices on the Remesh!
I do like hunting but right know I skipped because I’m afraid the meat might get spoiled not to mention I heard that they have worms on the meat at this time of the year! ( don’t know if it’s true or false but for safety I stay away )
@Coot4 thanks for the pics and the tip but based on the way I have my trees growing it’s not going to work.
The method im doing my trees is backyard orchard culture ( that means I keep the trees short to reach from ground level ) so right not the trees they are about a waist high and branching out! I also did some grafting on some of them and the deer have gotten some of them as well.
I guess the idea it’s the same but using something larger on the perimeter like the Remash that @forestandfarm mentioned might work better. I’ll try to post pics later. Thanks though for all the good tips!
I use this. I have a lot of deer pressure. You could use wood strips instead of tbars. You will need to replace the wood more often than tbars.
Here is a picture of one of my smaller trees.
Understand good luck
If you intend to eventually fence, but time/$/resources to do so now are not good… I’ve in the past had very good luck with fishing line. Others on here have tried the same and have not had the same degree of luck though. I used the cheapest/thinnest/most-invisible I could find, strung between bamboo poles, around the perimeter of my orchard area. Grass was mowed for at least 10’ around so the deer would be walking out in the open with no expectation of weeds or tree limbs brushing their legs or pressing against them. My theory is that that is the trick, for them to have an expectation of open ground between them and those yummy looking trees, then all of a sudden something is pressing against their legs or neck or head. It spooks them, they turn around… I and my wife have both witnessed deer grazing on the grass, headed towards trees, and be deterred by the string. Cheap and certainly better than nothing…
Wow I never heard of this trick before, I definitely going to try this around the perimeter of my orchard! I guess I could try around the perimeter of the property but I don’t care if they grace on the grass or clover but definitely don’t want them on the orchard. Thank you @wdingus
We see deer near our home daily, even gladly feed them our produce scraps. But plaese not the peach and cherry trees!
Electric fence on a timer, we only energize at night. Once the deer learn, they stay away. We have modified the electric fence recently to have 16 in tall 2 in by 4 in mesh at the bottom. Hot wires start 4 in above the wire fence. The concept is the raccoons will climb the short fence and get hit when the reach the top. We added the short fence to avoid the tall grass from shorting the ele fence. Now the grass will need to be 20 in tall to cause issues.
We also had raccoons climbing our metal deck posts and eating the bird food, wired them too and now no issues.
We tried the 6 ft dia cages at 5 ft tall around each tree. too much work to get in for summer pruning and general inspection.