[NAFEX] deer protection for fruit trees
tanistanis at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 28 10:38:08 EST 2009
I can confirm all this. Even the gauge of wire: 16 is too flimsy unless more fence-posts, and 12 is too difficult to cut a lot of.
Six foot tall woven fence is a bit too top-heavy to work with, and the 5' rolls fit into more vehicles. I have use 4' tall, but the hoops around young trees must be larger/ radius plus branch length must be wider than the length of a deer neck!
Alan works in higher visibility sites than I do. If eye-sore is not an issue, deer can be disuaded w/ some rather sad & rusty fencing. You might need an extra fence post to hold it up, tho. Also, not much is needed to keep bucks from damaging tree bark w/ their antlers.
Off-topic: The most impressive deer sighting I've had is when twin bucks matured in the neighborhood, and one day I saw them grazing side-by-side. They looked up at me, but with bodies facing away they had to look over their rumps. They were mirror images of eachother. It was an incredible "Oh, for a camera!" moment, but later I figured everyone would have thought it a Photoshop trick.
> Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 08:02:03 -0500
> From: alandhaigh at gmail.com
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [NAFEX] deer protection for fruit trees
> I install a lot of home orchards in areas where the deer populations remind you of being on a game safari in Kenya. I have had 8 point bucks within a stones throw admire my work as I planted succulent young apple, mulberry and Asian pear trees amongst all the other somewhat less attractive fruit trees that will be in the mix. The deer run in herds like antelopes and only bow-hunting is permitted in most areas I work.
> I protect smaller trees with about a 10' length of 5' tall, 14 g. galvanized wire fencing and a single post to create individual rings for each tree. The wire fencing can be secured to itself by hooking its wire to itself in 2 or 3 places from top to bottom so the rings are easily opened to tend to the trees. In worse predation areas I very rarely have to use 12' (circumference) rings and 3 posts for particularly attractive cultivars like the Mutsu apple, mulberries and Asian pears.
> Low branches are eaten by the deer when they reach outside of protection which encourages upward growth inside the fencing. After a couple of years the fencing can be removed and I protect the trunks from buck antlers with 3' rings around the trunks from pieces of the initial fencing. The deer do a pretty good job of keeping the trees trained above the browse line but fruit laden branches must sometimes be crutched or tied to keep the deer from tearing them off the tree.
> This means that a lot of the fruit must be harvested from a stepladder, but on the bright side, the deer eat all the drops, lessening apple fly maggot pressure (at least that's my theory, as this is a nonexistent pest in my orchards). It also means that the orchards allow more open space for child play and mowing the lawn.
Windows Live™ Contacts: Organize your contact list.
More information about the nafex