All Things Gardening forum: Desperatly need ideas on deer proofing small trees!

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Oct 27, 2014 8:57 PM CST
I planted about 25 small trees in the past 2 years. This evening I noticed the deer have rubbed 5 of them to their death over night. Provided anything is left by morning, what can I do? I need something pretty inexpensive because my dh lost his job 2 weeks ago so we can't afford much. I was wondering if there was something I could wrap them around with? Maybe aluminum baking foil? or old carpet? Any ideas please that you think might work. I have not dealt with deer much before so I'm not sure what kind of things they would get around. please please help me!!
Name: Elaine
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 27, 2014 9:38 PM CST
If they're just rubbing, barbed wire wrapped around the trunks might do the trick.

IF the deer are eating the bark, it's not going to help for long, they'll just nibble in between the barbs. In that case, old carpeting tied in place with barbed wire would keep them from rubbing off the carpeting and nibbling at the bark.
Elaine

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 27, 2014 11:03 PM CST
chicken wire, Reemay, burlap, pretty much any kind of fencing... how small are the trees? Maybe you could just put some large flower pots over them? (but I'm thinking if the deer are rubbing on them they're too tall for that... ?) How annoying!!
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 28, 2014 9:56 AM CST
They are about 5 ft tall and about the size of a quarter. They are not eating it, looks like rubbing all the way around. I am just sick. I thought about carpet but the barbed wire is too pricey for that many trees right now. I wonder if there is something else I could use to support the carpet, maybe some gorilla tape or duct tape, but I don't know how that would hold up over the winter?
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 28, 2014 10:35 AM CST
I think either duct tape or gorilla tape would work -- I'd just make sure to wrap it all the way around so it can grip on itself. Or maybe just some heavy twine (like baler twine).
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Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Oct 28, 2014 11:12 AM CST
Gorilla tape is stronger than duct tape if you use it just make sure not to get it directly on the tree itself as it is difficult to remove and could pull bark loose from the tree. The deer may be whacking their antlers against the trees to remove the velvet from their antlers.

This article may be helpful to you. http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/newsdetail.cfm?NewsI...
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 28, 2014 11:31 AM CST
Thanks for the link. The trees are pretty much stripped of bark all the way around, so they are dead. I did not know the deer like to visit the same trees every year, so that was helpful.


Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Oct 28, 2014 11:40 AM CST
Sorry about your trees, hope you can save the rest.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 28, 2014 12:20 PM CST
me too!
thank you.


coachr
Oct 28, 2014 4:20 PM CST
A very good tree wrap it "Tree Armor". I am not sure that using duct tape is a good solution as it may suffocate the tree and restrict growth. We also use a natural product called Deer Repellent packs that uses a deer's natural instincts to keep deer away from trees, shrubs and other landscaping with great success. You can see these products here:

http://www.amazon.com/Tree-Protection-Tree-Guards-Brown-Colo...

http://www.deerrepellentpacks.com
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 28, 2014 5:22 PM CST
The tree wrap stuff looks like it might work, but I would want to sample one before buying several. The thing is at $20 each that is pretty pricey for 20 or 30 trees!
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Oct 28, 2014 6:12 PM CST
I've had really good luck with Plantskydd. It is kind of hard to get mixed up, you have to add just a little water at a time and put it through a strainer to get the lumps out, but once you figure it out, it's no big deal. I've never found anything else that was as effective.


[url=www.plantskydd.com]www.plantskydd.com[/url]
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 28, 2014 6:14 PM CST
Susie, does that work to deter deer from eating stuff? But I don't know if it would deter rubbing? I didn't see where it said that on the site?
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Oct 28, 2014 6:20 PM CST
I think they just don't like the smell and I haven't even seen tracks around them, (the trees) after I use it. But I couldn't say for sure that it would stop the rubbing.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Oct 28, 2014 6:44 PM CST
I've had bucks do this on a few occasions where I work, it's the time of year for this damage. I've used spiral wraps which I don't think are very expensive (sorry don't know the price because we have a supply in the storeroom but you could check out a local garden centre). If you scroll down this page there is a picture, and you might get some other ideas too: http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/2009/12/tree-stem-protec...

If you're using the normal length spiral wraps you'll probably need to put more than one to cover the length of the tree trunk.

A very inexpensive alternative might be to try fishing line on bamboo canes around each tree, believe it or not. We had deer eating a young apple tree so I pushed four bamboo canes to make the corners of a square around the tree, far enough out that they'd have to reach past to get to the tree, and then strung fishing line around them to make a "fence". I used two strands about a foot apart. Deer don't like to go through fishing line. Other people I've mentioned this to have tried it and found it worked. Whether it would work across a route that they've become used to traveling I don't know. Anyway, they haven't touched this apple tree for years now. I once watched a deer approach and as soon as its chest touched the line it backed off. I wonder if feeling something that they can't see is what bothers them. I can't find a good picture of the whole set up but this cropped image shows one corner bamboo with the lines, obviously the tree is out of the picture to the left.


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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 28, 2014 7:43 PM CST
I agree
It does sound kind of funny, that fishing line and bamboo would keep deer away, but my experience has been that they don't like any kind of "structures" ... I only have a 2-1/2 foot fence around my garden, but I have big tomato cages, trellises, and a hoophouse inside the fence, and they never seem to bother anything in the garden until very late in the season (when all of that stuff has been taken down), if the carrots and beets are still in the ground they'll come in and dig them up. (I live in the middle of a cedar swamp so we have plenty of deer and other wildlife around).
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Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Reine
Oct 28, 2014 8:07 PM CST
This is an inexpensive, homemade remedy I found online. I haven't tried it, but thought I would pass it to you. I pray it will help your trees.

Deer Repellent
1 Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. You will need enough egg yolks to fill a spray bottle with a mixture that is 20 percent egg and 80 percent water.
2 Stir the egg yolks into the water, mixing them thoroughly. Strain the liquid to remove the white stuff on the egg yolk, it will clog the sprayer. Fill the bottle with the solution.
3 Spray the homemade deer repellent around the trees that are being rubbed, as well as any others you want to safeguard. If you wish, you can also spray around the perimeter of your property.
4 Reapply the egg mixture after 30 days have passed. While the mixture is resistant to weather, it needs to be reapplied to maintain its effectiveness.



Name: Juli
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daylily
Oct 29, 2014 4:32 AM CST
I have used this trick for years and it works very well for bucks rubbing on young trees.

I use tomato cages. The ones sold at big stores that are 2 or 3 wire rings attached and have wire legs you stick in the ground.

I cut the wire rings on one side so I can open them enough to get around the tree trunk. Then just let them sit there at ground level. Don't push them in the ground. You want them loose.

The buck comes along, starts to rub his antlers on the tree trunk, and gets them in the wires, which will move, and "catch" on his antlers and he will leave that tree and move on to one that does not have the wire.

You need to put them on each fall for several years, until the tree has a large enough caliper the buck is no longer interested in rubbing on them. I just leave the cages on year round.

An inexpensive, often free, alternative is to go to a local fencing company and ask for scrap field fencing, like used for horse and cattle pastures. They will usually have the ends of a roll around. You can cut this fencing and fashion your own "cages" - I made mine about a foot across. You may need to buy a "fence tool" to cut the wire if you do not have a really good wire cutter, as the wire is strong.

After putting one of the tomato cages or fencing cages on a young tree, I have never had a buck rub one again. I live in the country, on 16 acres that is wooded and we have a lot of deer!
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 29, 2014 11:12 AM CST
http://www.lowes.com/pd_24139-124-04010100H_4294612449__?pro...

This is what we ended up using. Picked it up last night and just cut them in 3 ft lengths and split them down the middle so they would slip around the trees. The deer actually showed up last night just at dark while my dh was putting these on. He fired a shot to scare it away. Hope it had a heart attack and never comes back. So I will wait a few weeks and report back on our success. I sure hope this works. It seems like it would last for a long time and be weather resistant and even a girl could use it lol... 100 ft goes a long ways too.
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
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Ecscuba
Nov 3, 2014 9:00 PM CST
You can buy a corrugated black plastic pipe they call French drain at Home Depot. Slice it down o e side and the tree. allows tree to breathe and keeps deer antlers off.
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