Oh, Deer

A few days ago, Ed and I noticed that our beloved deer neighbors have been nibbling on our apple trees.  I don’t mind a nibble here and there on our white pines in the winter, but when there’s plenty of clover for them, I’m not going to let them destroy our little trees.

Here’s what our white pines look like, after late winter munching on the bottom needles.

deer barriers 001

And here’s our dawn redwood, after a buck decided to try to rub the velvet off his antlers with it last fall.  The tree was just too tiny to take it!

deer barriers 004

So, with knowledge of what deer can do to little trees, Ed and I set out to create barriers.  We used some leftover plastic netting and wire mesh for our six little trees.  Ed started trying to weave the plastic netting together with a stiff wire, which I promptly grabbed out of his hands.  Instead, I sewed them up with my big yarn needle and some strong yellow string. 

deer barriers 013

deer barriers 012

Meanwhile, Ed got to work with the wire mesh.  With him working in the basement and me in the garage, it became sort of a race.  The race ended in a tie, with both of us finishing at the same time. 

deer barriers 008

deer barriers 014

Now we’ve got three black plastic cages and three wire cages.  The wire ones are less noticable, so I’m leaning toward liking them better.  But I guess we’ll have to wait and see which  cages are more protective in the long run.

deer barriers 005


Filed under Gardening, Home, Living from Scratch, Outside, Sustainable Living

6 responses to “Oh, Deer

  1. Good luck! This will sound weird, but I had good luck protecting my pear tree from the deer with the following trick: I saved the hair from my son’s haircut (given to him by my hubby) and tucked it in the end of a nylon stocking. I tied one into each pear tree as the little pears (which the deer love!) were emerging. We didn’t seem to lose pears to the deer as we have in previous years. I think the lingering human scent was enough to deter them.

    • Aisling,

      That doesn’t sound so weird to me! My father used to collect hair clippings from his local barber and sprinkle those around the perimeter of his garden to deter the deer. Now, that’s a little strange!


  2. Good luck! I know deer can wreak havoc on a garden. I hope your deterrents work. I am eager to hear which one is more effective in the long run. You know, in case I ever have any deer to deter myself. 🙂

  3. Oh deer, indeed! I finally had to move my apple tree to my backyard as the deer wouldn’t let it alone. Knock on wood but I’ve still got tomatoes, pumpkins and such out there. Hope they leave your caged baby trees alone.

  4. The deer guards look great! I don’t know if it’s deer, woodchuck, or rabbits, but I am learning the hard way that peas really need to be protected. In the last few days evey one of my pea plants has been munched. The foliage does taste very good, so I totally understand the motive. However, I am still bummed that there will be no peas for me to eat. Hopefully your fencing will pay off and you will have apples to eat.

  5. I have a spitz dog with long hair. I brush him out and use as part of my mulch. It has a lot of trace minerals in it and is good for the garden.

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