Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Preventing the Buck Rub Blues
One of the first products designed to prevent deer damage were solid plastic "Tree Shelters" that can be placed over the trunk . Over time we learned that tree shelters cause almost as many problems as they prevented. Trees grown in shelters suffer temperature related bark injury (from the greenhouse effect inside the tube) and trunks often become twisted inside the tube by the action of the wind on upper branches. If anyone has heard me talk about tree shelters in the past they know I've renamed them "tree coffins". The damage they cause is as bad or worst than the damage caused by buck rub.
On my farm, I use a 2" x 4" woven wire cage (5 feet tall) to protect a new graft from deer browsing. As soon as the graft grows big enough to accept a 3 ft. tall tree protector, the wire cage comes off (to be used for next year's grafting season) and the tree protector goes on. I purchased the tree protectors from A.M. Leonard (www.amleo.com).