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deer and young trees

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by ccorts, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. ccorts

    ccorts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I am having a costly problem in Michigan with the bucks rubbing the bark completely off young fruit and ornamental trees. Other than fencing around each tree, has anyone found an economical and simple solution to detering this problem? It was suggested that I wrap the area with duct tape during fall and winter. Would this present any health problems to the tree? Any comments or suggestions welcomed.
  2. lindhdg

    lindhdg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I slice a section of drain tile length-wise and wrap it around the trunk. Perfect diameter for small trees.
  3. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Instead of putting up a fence, if there is a tree or group of trees that you want to protect, you can put up several fence posts around the perimeter and then encircle the area with three or four rows of fishing line. Deer will not go through and from a distance you can't see the fishing line and so it's not objectionable. The monofilament should probably be 20# test or more.
  4. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    From "In the Garden" radio with Andre Viette of Fishersville: Commercial deer repellents include Tree Guard with bitter Bitrex suspended in latex so its resists rain 1-800-323-3396; Anti-Pel for deer, rabbits, squirrels, voles and moles, 3-5 month tablets and spray (304) 425-6653; Hot Pepper wax, Not Tonight Deer, Thiram, Hinder, Repel, Deer Busters, Deer Away and Bye-Deer.

    Books: "Deer Proofing Your Yard and Garden" by Storey Publishing (www.storey.com) and "Protecting Your Garden from Animal Damage" by Ortho books. (Click here to buy these books at Barnes and Noble at discounted prices!)

    Deer catalog products: Deer Buster catalogue 1-800-248-DEER.

    Other repellents: human or dog hair in nylon stockings, Tabasco sauce, tiger and lion manure from zoo, fox urine, creosote on cotton rags and fabric softener strips hung among plants.

    Deer-repellent spray recipes: 2 eggs blended with 4 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce per quart; let set covered at room temperature three days.

    Hot sauce: 2 tablespoons hot pepper or Tabasco sauce, 1 gallon of water, Wiltpruf (antitransparent sold at garden centers)

    Hot spray: 5 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 1 gallon water, 1 teaspoon spreader sticker.

  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Depending on your location you might be eligable for an urban hunting permit to eliminate some of the deer. If you don't hunt the state will have a list of guys that take care of these problems.

  6. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Coffeecraver, some of those recipes sound like my typical breakfast! There are also some products that contain blood plasma - stinks to high heaven, and something that you don't want to spray upwind.

    Some of these ingredients such as the garlic, or blood plasma, are repellants. Other ingredients such as the cayenne pepper are for the deer that will get past the smell and begin to nibble. I’d sure be willing to try all these in an effort to keep the deer from eating away at my plants, however, as for the bucks rubbing against the trunks of trees… umm… I don’t think that taste deterrents will work. They’re not there for a smorgasbord meal.

    Ccorts, a word of caution about wrapping a tree; wrapping a tree can trap moisture, and moisture can lead to rot – especially if left on for a period of time. Instead of duct tape, I’d use a fine semi-stiff plastic mesh that could be loosely wrapped around the trunk, or like what lindhdg said, a piece of drain tubing slit lengthwise.
  7. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    These are tried and proven remedies, I may not agree with everything on the list.
    However I am offering suggestions not just criticism.

  8. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    CCorts - what you are describing is part of a deer(s) mating ritual. The bucks use small trees and saplings to help remove the velvet from their antlers. They also have glands on their foreheads that deposit secretions to the trees. These act as "signposts" to let other deer know of their presence. Repellents have little success in preventing a mature buck from completing his mating rituals.

    I had the rare opportunity to walk upon a 12 point buck in the act of rubbing a 6" tree in this method. He wasn't the least bit interested in my presence at first. As I approached closer, he lowered himself to the ground, as if he was about to charge. I retreated a bit and he continued to thrash the tree. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera (or a gun) as at one point I was only 10 yards away. I also never saw the deer again that year.

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