I have several trees that, no matter how hard I try, the deer and elk find a way to remove branches. The deer here typically just browse the leaves. However, over the weekend, a deer was able to breach my 5 foot welded wire fences that were around two of my apple trees. There were 1-2 foot gaps below the fences which I assume the deer was able to squeeze through. This deer was also kind enough to rip several branches off my two trees, cutting them from about 8 ft to about 3-4 ft tall.
Both trees now are shaped like a T. (picture to follow) I was thinking of turning them into Espaliers. What would be the best way (without fencing the yard) to keep them protected from the deer, and so that the trees remain visually appealing? The nice thing about espalier is that the trees are more two dimensional which may be easier to protect via fencing or netting. I was looking for some of ideas/suggestions/photos on how to possibly set them up. Or, if espalier is too much trouble and risk, I could just carry on with growing them upright.
I do like the idea of grafting multiple varieties onto an espalier to add some variety instead of trying to manage single trees. However, again I’ll need some sort of permanent protection that doesn’t look too janky. Ideas appreciated!