The Q&A Archives: Animal eating my sappling trees

Question: I have a japanese maple that was just planted this year. I also have a different tree that was planted around the same time. They are only about 2 1/2 feet tall. That is until something started knawing off the branches one by one. Who is the culprit and what can I do about it? FYI............I live in Missouri

Answer: I don't know whether deer or some other critter is gnawing on your new trees but the best thing for you to do is to place a barrier between the critter and your new trees. You can drive a stake into the ground and attach a chicken wire cylinder to protect each tree. Make sure it completely encircles the tree and is at least 3' taller than the tree is high. That way a deer won't be able to reach over the wire to munch on the top; other critters won't be able to reach, either. As the trees get older they won't be as vulnerable to damage and will even be able to tolerate some critter damage. Best wishes with your new trees!

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