Question on open, low apple trees vs deer

I have been planning to grow several multi graft apple trees and like the idea of a low branching open center to try to keep most of the fruit low enough to pick. At the same time I know deer get into my yard periodically.

As it stands I currently have a bunch of plants in a a 10 x 25 fenced in area including lots of young apples and pears and plums, the year I didn’t put chicken wire down the deer got in and ate a bunch my first year grafts but i’ve kept them out for a year and a half with only chicken wire and then a single strand of monofilament tied to the fence posts above the chicken wire add about 3 foot or possibly 4 foot tall. So they don’t seem super determined.

If I were to grow an open center tree and try to train the ground to top out at 6 to 8 feet would the deer be able to reach almost everything do you think it’s likely they would ?

Just trying to decide if I need to rethink a no-ladder unfenced setup and how high they will be able to reach …

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Markalbob, I’m 67 (and healthy), and now I wish I had shorter, smaller trees. So I’d lean towards the no-ladder approach if at all feasible. Keeping deer out is always a problem- and it looks like without a fence you’ll have to change up your methods from time to time. There are some pretty good options out there if you’re willing to spend the money, but if you’re like me you don’t like to spend too much even on a good hobby. (I’m not tight- I’d have to loosen up to get there!)

Deer vary from region to region. We have both mule deer and whitetail right through the middle of town and they’ve become thoroughly acclimatized to human activity. It’s not uncommon to see arbor vitae stripped to about the six foot level by them.

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I grow my trees tall due to deer. I even let my peaches grow tall. Usually anything under 6’ the deer get.

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