[NAFEX] Deer and European Plums

Steve sdw12986 at aol.com
Sun Jul 19 12:53:33 EDT 2009

Do deer have a special fondness for European plums?

A few days ago I was in my yard and discovered some unauthorized pruning 
of a young plum tree. Mostly, just leaves were eaten off leaving stubs 
lining the little branches. Some of the soft tips of branches were 
chewed off too. Two of the branches with missing tips were a good 6 feet 
off the ground. A nearby American Hybrid plum had just a few missing leaves.
Yesterday, I discovered my other, even smaller, European plum now has 
some missing leaves and missing branch tips. So far, neither tree has 
lost even 10% of its leaves so it's not too serious yet. I live right in 
town where I didn't used to have to worry about deer. In recent years 
they started showing up in the fall. (I discovered they like fallen 
pears far more than apples.) Only rarely has there been evidence of a 
summer visit.
Here's the weird part. Directly below the eaten branches of that first 
tree, there is a clump of day lilies in full bud, just days from opening 
the first flowers. Not a bud had been touched. Also, the plum trees are 
not 20 feet from my vegetable garden. I found 2 tomato leaves with 
missing ends. These were at the far end of the garden away from the plum 
trees. Other than that possible deer damage, nothing has been touched.

Steve in the Adirondacks

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