[NAFEX] Grow fruit higher than deer can reach?

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Mon Mar 24 21:48:19 EST 2003


I should add that Uncle David has heavy deer pressure, and doesn't 
believe in pruning at all.  He figures the animals take enough, and the 
trees (grape vines, etc.) need the rest.  I wonder if he is right, and 
we need to prune fruit trees mostly because they are protected against 
browsing.  He gets lots a grapes despite his total lack of pruning.  
He's never lost a mature stem (trunk, branch) to deer, but a hungry 
raccoon nearly did in his pear tree - he saw her in the act, and most 
of the damage was too high for deer.  She stripped most of the bark in 
the late winter to eat the inner layer.  He killed that one, but a few 
years later he had the same problem in another pear.  It seems that 
they taste better (or something) shortly after they are mature enough 
to fruit.  He's lost young trees and vines to mice and deer, though.

Ginda


On Monday, March 24, 2003, at 09:04  PM, list at ginda.us wrote:

> Charlie, My husband's uncle has a "deer-pruned" orchard.  He planted 
> seedling apples years ago.  They are now very large trees, with neat, 
> flat bottoms.  The bottoms are at about head-height - I can't walk 
> comfortably beneath the trees and I am only 5'6".  It is cooler in the 
> shade, but little biting bugs gather there, so I usually don't hang 
> out under the apple trees unless I am picking apples or cutting sticks 
> to toast marshmallows.  (Not enough breeze - the shade from the oaks 
> and birches is more comfortable and less buggy.)
>
> On the other hand, the deer do a fine job of cleaning up drops - we 
> never see any in the morning.  These trees ripen their fruit over a 
> long period, so the deer can easily keep up.  I suppose a modern 
> cultivar that ripened all at once might challenge them a bit.
>
> I'm sure an M111 will grow tall enough to fruit above deer-height.  He 
> has a couple of M7 and M109 trees, and while he gripes that they ought 
> to grow to the ground, and that the deer have robbed him of half their 
> potential, they produce fruit above the deer browsing mark.  Because 
> they are smaller trees, they are not too hard to pick.  I think the 
> deer do most of the pruning.
>
> I have planted M111 in the hope of getting a decent crop above the 
> deer's reach.  My deer pressure is much lighter than his.
>
> Ginda Fisher
> eastern MA
> uncle in Catskills, NY
>
> On Monday, March 24, 2003, at 04:31  PM, charles paradise wrote:
>
>> Bruce,
>> I also understood that having animals come in and pick up the apple 
>> drops would reduce somewhat
>> the pressure from apple maggot etc.
>> But being able to walk underneath it - that I think is a huge 
>> advantage.  One of the most
>> beautiful orchards I ever visited was in Pennsylvania, chestnut, it 
>> was like that.   95 degrees
>> and we were comfortable underneath the trees.
>> Charlie Paradise
>> zone 5/massachusetts
>>
>> Bruce Hansen wrote:
>>
>>> Charlie:
>>>
>>> If you contact me later, I will get you a picture when the leaves 
>>> are out.
>>> The original orchard was grafted on EMLA 7 rootstock. The deer trim 
>>> is at
>>> about the four foot level. I like it there because I am able to 
>>> clean out
>>> under the trees with less difficulty. I now only use MM 111 which is 
>>> even
>>> better for my purposes. The umbrella training idea could go far. I 
>>> have many
>>> deer that live on the farm. I suppose that I could rent out a few for
>>> 'training'. Better yet, like a bee keeper, I could stake the deer 
>>> near the
>>> trees to be groomed/pruned.
>>>
>>> Bruce z5 MI
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of charles paradise
>>> Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 2:57 PM
>>> To: North American Fruit Explorers
>>> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Grow fruit higher than deer can reach?
>>>
>>> Bruce, [and others who may comment],
>>> Do you use a seedling for your apple rootstocks to get that acacia 
>>> look?
>>> Would you say you are using umbrella training?
>>> Is M111 a large enough tree roostock to support your type training, 
>>> or would
>>> only a seedling
>>> rootstock yield the desired height?
>>> Are your trees in Michigan rather unique for your area?   I would 
>>> doubt you
>>> know any other
>>> growers who train their trees in such a way.   Would love a link to a
>>> picture.
>>>
>>> Charlie Paradise
>>> zone 5/Massachusetts
>>>
>>> Bruce Hansen wrote:
>>>
>>>> Charlie:
>>>>
>>>> Piece of cake. I have about 400 trees and they all have that acacia 
>>>> look.
>>> It
>>>> is really kind of nice. I use tree tubes for my young stock. Now 
>>>> the only
>>>> problem I have with deer are the city folk who hunt.
>>>>
>>>> Bruce  Z5 MI
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>>>> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Charles 
>>>> Paradise
>>>> Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 1:19 PM
>>>> To: North American Fruit Explorers
>>>> Subject: [NAFEX] Grow fruit higher than deer can reach?
>>>>
>>>> Suppose I conceded that in a particular orchard deer would 
>>>> occasionally
>>>> get in and browse my proposed planting of apple and pear trees.
>>>>
>>>> You may have seen pictures of trees grown on the African savanna, 
>>>> where
>>>> the tree is leafless up to about eight feet high, then the foliage
>>>> grows with the bottom branches looking like they are growing flat 
>>>> on a
>>>> tabletop, because the foraging animals below have gnawed everything
>>>> they could reach up to.  So the first 8 feet of the growing tree has
>>>> been conceded to the wild animals in Africa.
>>>>
>>>> For an example of how this browsed tree looks in Africa, see:
>>>> http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/acacia_tortillis.htm
>>>>
>>>> I'm asking for opinions about the practicality of growing apples and
>>>> pears on standard seedling rootstocks, and trimming so the first
>>>> branches occur several feet off the ground - not easy, I know, for
>>>> pruning and harvesting - but as a proposed way of avoiding the
>>>> necessity of repelling deer.
>>>>
>>>> So, what's your opinion?    Possible?   Practical or impractical?
>>>>
>>>> Charlie Paradise
>>>> zone 5/Massachusetts
>>>>
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