Monday, November 25, 2013


A couple of weeks back, I blogged HERE about something eating/scratching/chewing on some of our fruit trees.  Well, our recent wet weather was a bit of a blessing, because it allowed me to find THESE:

Deer tracks
These are, I believe from my research anyway, deer tracks.  I didn't have anything to put down for scale but they were smallish, so I'm guessing, just as several of you commented about, that young deer rubbing on the trees, were the culprits.  I have seen some rabbits around too, so it could even be some sort of combination of the two.

Whatever the creature is/was, I came up with this solution.  Hopefully it's a bit better than the strong smelling basil.

Fruit trees with foam pipe protectors
These are the foam pipe protectors used in Winter to cover pipes to keep them from freezing.  Since they're already slit on one side, I just wrapped them around the trunks. They have been keeping them safe for the last week until I can get some chicken wire fencing around them.

Foam pipe protector around tree trunk
I came up with this idea while cleaning out some stuff and found them.  They aren't tight around the tree so they do breathe, but just in case, I decided to Google it.  I found others who have done the same with no problems.
If anyone has any other suggestions, please post below!



John Gray said...

My sheep broke into bosoms the other week and did the same sort of damage to my apple trees

wendywoo said...

I have had a lot of deer/antler damage on my young trees. I put chicken wire around them and it seemed to stop it. Now the trees are a little bigger, I took the wire off, with no new damage. BUT! This year and last we have had yellow-bellied sapsuckers poking holes in rings around the trunks and effectively ring-barking the trees, which can kill them (the trees, not the birds, unfortunately). I hung bedsheets torn into strips over the areas they are most prone to peck, sort of helped. Tried onion bag type mesh, they pecked right through it. I am at my wits end with nature! Any way, I have used the type of protection you are now, be sure to get that off in the spring, a lot of nasty things can go on under that stuff, replace it again in the fall, early September. If anyone has a suggestion for what to do with those wretched sapsuckers, short of killing them, please let me know.

wendywoo said...

What, exactly, does a sheep breaking into bosoms look like???

Frank from Virginia said...

1st, and Wendywoo,
The answer to both problems is the same. Go out and get you a shotgun. Deer meat is very tasty and low in fat. The birds are a little small for the pot but the shotgun would solve the bark problem. If you do not want to kill the deer get a good pump pelit gun and pop him in the butt a couple of times and he will get the idea.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

What a great idea, I wouldn't have thought about using pipe insulation.

FionaG said...

We have the same problem here but mostly with wombats and kangaroos, occasionally deer. In areas where we put, or want to put, our goats and alpacas we build permanent protectors using star pickets and chicken wire. This allows the tree to grow big without the trunk being eaten. Wendywoo, I sympathise with your bird problem. We found some success by hanging a large rubber snake. You might need to move it to different positions every now and then. Love the wildlife but they do present constant challenges! Good luck.

wendywoo said...

Oh, believe me, I am at that point, but those miserable little birds are PROTECTED! My trees can go die, but you cannot harm the little buggers!

1st Man said...

"Hello, 911? I would like to report loose sheep in my bosoms". "sir, is this a prank call?"

LOL! They can do damage don't they? ;-)

1st Man said...

Oh no! I hope someone will come forward with ideas. I've heard of using shiny pie plates, the tin foil/aluminum type, hanging in trees or around so they spin and blow in the wind? Not sure if that would help? I'm not sure we have to worry about those but I'm sure this isn't the last creature we'll be competing with ha.

1st Man said...

We do actually have a couple of rifles. I haven't yet seen them when I'm there but I know they are around now. We'll see what happens. ;-)

1st Man said...

It was a random thought and it really worked out great. I was worried after I did it that it might harm the trees so I googled when I got back into town and found others doing it so hey, I guess we're in good company, ha. .

1st Man said...

It's great seeing the wildlife isn't it? I guess we all have to figure out a way to live together, ha.

OK, I know to you it's probably a nuisance, but when I think of us having property in the country and we deal with deer and such, and you have property in the country on the other side of the globe and deal with wombats and kangaroos. I think that's cool (in a US only point of view, LOL).

Love the rubber snake idea. Will have to remember that.

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...


FionaG said...

I agree Ist Man, definitely cool. So many 'same but different' themes. I think that's one of the things that attracts me to your wonderful blog.

Anonymous said...

I live in central Maine, USA. On a trip to northern California a year and a half ago (July 2014) we bought a redwood seedling which grew from 2" to nearly 8' in a year so I had to plant it outside this summer. It hasn't grown much since then but seems healthy. It's about to face it's first Maine winter outside, and I want to do everything I can to help it survive. The trunk is still thin, like a broom handle, so the pipe insulation is something I'll try. I'm also concerned about the needles, not wanting them to be eaten by deer or other critters looking for a winter meal.

Anyone know if something like a strong pepper spray might help? The tree seems a bit too tall and wide at the branch tips (5' in diameter) for a clear plastic teepee, but I'd make one if anyone thought it would be needed.

Redwood Lover

1st Man said...

thanks for your comment. I'm not sure about pepper spray, I sure wouldn't want it to damage the needles. Maybe on the ground around it? The pipe stopped my bark damage, though be sure to take it off on occasion, like when you are around or know there won't be deer for a period of time, so that the tree breathes. Bark it just like skin, you have to take care of it too.

Come back anytime and check in, we'd love to hear from you!