In some areas whitetail deer can browse nut & fruit tree and shrub seedlings, impacting both survival and growth. If this becomes a problem, deer control measures will improve the growth of your fruit and nut trees. The following measures also apply to cattle and other livestock.
Forest Agriculture Enterprises highly recommends tree tubes to both protect our high quality seedlings from deer, livestock & rabbit damage, as well as to accelerate growth. Tree tubes function like a mini-greenhouse around each seedling, sheltering seedlings from drying winds and reducing moisture stress – so the seedlings can achieve their full growth potential. Tree tubes make seedlings easy to find in grassy fields, and facilitate chemical or mechanical weed control operations.
For hazelnuts and other shrubs we recommend 2ft or 3ft tree tubes (although in cases of severe deer browse you can use 5ft vented tree tubes to get the terminal shoot past the browse line and then remove the tube to allow the shrub to spread).
For Chestnuts and other trees we recommend 4ft or 5ft vented tree tubes.
For added protection, several fencing options are available that work well in conjunction to using the tree tubes for locations with extreme deer browsing issues. One example is electric 3D fencing. It is an electric fence designed with height, length AND depth, which creates “landing anxiety” to the deer because they have a hard time assessing whether they can safely clear the obstacle. So, when facing a 3D fence deer are more are likely to stop, slowly approach the fence, check the fence with their nose at which point they receive a strong electric shock.
Is there a particular combination of deer repellants or protection that you employ on your property. We'd love to hear your story. Share it with firstname.lastname@example.org or Contacts and we can share it with the restoration agriculture community!