Timely Tips: Protecting Young Trees From Deer

August 24, 2021

Now is the time of year to think about protecting young trees from deer damage. Male deer (buck) sprout antlers throughout the summer and, in the autumn, they prepare for the rut (fighting each other using their antlers for breeding rights to the female deer (doe) within their territory. They mark their territory by rubbing their antlers on saplings and young trees. In the process, they are very capable of killing or severely damaging those trees. Most damage occurs between September and November and appears as bark scraping from the base of the plant up to about 4’. We recommend protecting newly planted and young trees with a trunk diameter under 3”. Trees that are particularly susceptible to damage are any type of softwood trees particularly plants in the prunus family including flowering cherries; however, they do not discriminate as they will use anything that fits to scratch that itch. There are a number or methods for protecting newly planted and young trees and now is the time to figure out what one is best for you before it is too late. 

Fencing is the most effective way to prevent this type of damage, three stakes with a 35”- 48” metal or plastic fence or hardware cloth secured around the trunk is the most effective. Vinyl tree guards wrapped around the trunk are effective for small trees. For further information and solutions visit our store we will be happy to explain some effective options.