Monday, May 15, 2017
Cages protect young pecan trees from deer browse
A picture may be worth a thousand words but the two photos above teach a valuable lesson. The photo on the left shows an unprotected seedling pecan trees that has been heavily browsed by deer. The tree on the right is enclosed by a cage constructed of welded wire fencing. This tree has a full canopy of leaves and has already made over ten inches of new shoot growth.
The lesson I've learned is that tree cages are now necessary for every young tree on my farm. I use 2 x 4 inch welded wire to build the cage. I've used both 4 foot and 5 foot tall wire but find that 4 tall works just as well in curtailing deer browse. I've used both light gauge and heavy gauge wire but find that the greater expense of the heavy gauge wire is offset by the cage's greater durability. As the trees grow above browse height, I'll remove the welded wire cage then re-use the cage to protect newly planted trees.