Protection Against Animal Damage

  • Tree wrap the bottom 3’ – 4’ of the stem for winter to defend against rodent damage (a white plastic wrap with a slit is better than the spirals of black weeping tile). The most important trees to protect are fruit trees and all smooth-barked trees. Tree wraps will also help reduce frost cracking and sun scalding.
  • Stucco wire fences can be built easily to ward off deer and rabbits. Attach both ends of a 10’ length of stucco wire to a stake around the tree trunk; use appropriate lengths to surround a shrub. This is most appropriate for low-branched or multi-stemmed fruit trees (for where the branches lie near the snow line), or for shrubs like cedars which are high on the deer’s list of favourite snacks!
  • Deterrent substances like scoot repellent or chili pepper seeds/dust can also be effective, though they may need to be reapplied after rain, watering or a wet snowfall. Human hair scattered around plants or placing hand soap around the trees may also help keep deer away.
  • Fencing the area tends to be the most effective way to keep deer off of your valued plants – whether it’s just your garden or your entire yard. If the yard is very open, fences 12’ or a double 6’ row with a few feet in between may be necessary for complete prevention. In forested areas, a single 6’ fence is often sufficient to discourage most deer from even trying due to the amount of free food available in the forest. The fence should be made of visible material like wire or wood.
  • Grow deer deterrent plants around the entire perimeter of a garden or orchard. Daffodils, Foxglove, Yarrow, and Asparagus are examples of plants that deer do not like. This may work best in combination with other deterrents as desperate deer are willing to eat even the least appetizing of plants out there if they are hungry enough.
  • Get a dog that lives outdoors. Just be aware though that puppies can sometimes chew plants themselves. Not all deterrents are for the wildlife, make sure to use pet-safe options if you have a furry housemate.

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