Tips on How to Protect Trees from Deer

Do you need to learn how to protect trees from deer in Northern Virginia, including Arlington, McLean, Alexandria, Fairfax, or the surrounding areas?

Deer are a common cause of tree damage, especially for homes near the woods. It is important to take the appropriate steps to protect your trees and prevent devastating damage.

Keep reading to learn about effective tactics for safeguarding trees from deer around your home.

If you think the health of your tree has been compromised from deer damage, give us a call today at (703) 969-6207 for a free estimate on tree care and tree removal.

What Damage can Deer Cause?

Beginning in the fall, deer are well known for rubbing trees vigorously to remove velvet from their antlers. The velvet is a thin layer of hair-like skin that covers the antlers during growth.

Once velvet is removed, deer can continue tree rubbing during the mating season. This is performed either to attract female deer or to mark territory and caution males to steer clear. Deer are also known for ripping up soil and urinating around the soil frequently.

During the tree rubbing, bark is completely stripped from the base of the tree and low branches are broken off. Damaged trees cannot effectively transport nutrients needed for survival.

With the drastic harm caused by deer rubbing, it is especially important to protect trees for the winter months. Weakened trees are less likely to survive through the cold season, especially when deer are eating and removing limbs close to the ground.

Using Tree Guards & Fencing Trees

One of the most effective ways to prevent deer damage is by fencing trees or using tree guards. Both methods inhibit deer from reaching the bark with their antlers. You can essentially implement a guard system on your own.

Newly planted trees need the most protection. Not only are they vulnerable to excessive damage, but also they lack the strength to withstand high pressure.

Tree Fencing

We all know deer are capable of jumping high heights, so it is essential to place a fence that cannot easily be cleared. Typically, this means six to eight feet in height. This is most applicable for an area with multiple trees.

To further deter deer from accessing your trees, consider placing the fence at an angle. While deer are known for clearing fences, an angle makes it more difficult to cross.

Tree Guards

If you don’t have a high tree population on your property, another effective method is to use tree guards. Chicken wire or manufactured mesh netting can be wrapped around the base of the tree, limiting access to the bark.

Both of these materials can be purchased in rolls and simply spiraled around any deer-accessible areas. When questioning how to protect trees from deer, tree fencing and tree guards are the best places to start.

Effective Deer Repellent

Offering a temporary solution, deer repellent can be used both on trees and the areas surrounding them. Repellents will help prevent deer from chewing and eating, but will be less successful preventing antler rubbing.

Various types of deer repellents exist: you can purchase a pre-made repellent or make your own with an egg and water mixture. Spread the mixture around the base of trees and ground around them.

Keep in mind that the repellents will dissipate with rain and snow, washing them away and lowering the potency.

Prune Trees in Winter

Low growing limbs will attract deer in your area like wildfire. Winter is one of the absolute best months for pruning trees, allowing them to grow strong in the dormant months and removing the attraction for deer.

In addition to tree guards, there is another natural method to prevent deer from eating the trunk and shoots. Deer do not like the smell of soap, and many homeowners have found success by hanging bars of soap from the tree branches. This will temporarily deter deer from munching away on tree trunks.

Professional Tree Care from Absolute Tree Service, Inc.

If you are in need of professional tree care in Northern Virginia, give us a call today at (703) 969-6207 or click here to contact us online now.

Absolute Tree Service Inc. is a full service tree company, offering all services ranging from tree risk assessment to tree pruning. We are licensed and insured, delivering our customers with superior service. Give us a call to learn how we can help you today.

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