Deer damage - Knowledgebase Question

Templeton, Ca
Question by jandayork
October 14, 2009
I have two new weeping willow trees which the deer have stripped the bark off. What do I do now to save the trees?

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2009


Because the most vital living tissue of trees, the cambium layer, lies only a fraction of an inch beneath the bark?s surface, an animal does not have to penetrate very deeply into the young tree?s bark to damage a tree. If the tree is girdled, that is, if a gap in the cambium layer completely circles the trunk, the tree will die.

There's not much you can do to help your trees along. If the cambium is not damaged, the tree will heal itself over time. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. If the trees do not leaf out next spring, they may need to be replaced. If you replace them, be sure to place a barrier between the trunks and the deer. A temporary barrier can be made by driving 3 stakes equal distance from each into the ground several inches from the trunk and wrapping chicken wire around the stakes to encircle the trunk. Once the trunks develop hard bark you can remove the barriers.

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