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Sepp Holzer's recipe to keep animals off of trees

 
gardener
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So far my results are positive on woody trees and shrubs, when created as previously described.

I am trying to protect some early season flowers using bone sauce around the plants. I got some broken branches and stuck them in the ground and covered with bone sauce. They stick are placed all around the new growth flowers. Still to early to provide my results.

Question:

Has anyone tried to use the bone sauce to form a protective barrier around annuals/non-woody plants? Results?

thx
 
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Is anyone here open to the idea of selling me some bone sauce? I would want something of verified quality.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
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Bone sauce stick perimeter protecting young plants from deer

Test bed
Bone sauce applied on sticks around the young perennial flowers to prevent the deer from eating them.



Control bed
Bone sauce not used around the young flowers, deer eating them to the ground.



 
pollinator
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So turns out this wasn't Sepp Holzer's invention. It was Frankenstein, or at least the man she based the book off of. He used to dig up human bones to make bone sauce. I found that fascinating!
 
Brett Andrzejewski
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Interesting, about Dr. Frankenstien. I wonder what else the good Dr. might have created...

Here is a link to an article in the Buffalo News about how deer populations are growing and eating all the NY state parks young plants and farmers young vegetables:

Deer Populations
 
elle sagenev
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I'm calling it a failure myself. Lots of eaten trees that had been treated with bone sauce. Bone sauce looked and smelled correct so I'm assuming we made it correctly. Simply didn't work.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
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Elle,

I'm curious as why your bone sauce isn't working. Can you tell me what bones you used? How long did you burn the fire? Cast iron container or maybe some other metal?
 
elle sagenev
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Brett Andrzejewski wrote:Elle,

I'm curious as why your bone sauce isn't working. Can you tell me what bones you used? How long did you burn the fire? Cast iron container or maybe some other metal?



I can't really tell you the details of how it was made. My husband made it after researching it forever. We used a metal roasting pan to make it. The bones were cow, I believe. However, according to what I'd read it looked and smelled correct. I applied it correctly from what Zach had said.

I know it isn't working because the trees I applied it to have still been eaten off by rabbits. The mulberry pic attached shows some of the damage, though the nut trees are just bitten clean off. Clearly rabbit work.

eaten-mulberry.jpg
eaten-mulberry
eaten-mulberry
 
Brett Andrzejewski
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Sorry for my late reply, I've been getting ready for winter in the Buffalo, NY area.

Interesting. I haven't been able to confirm the bone sauce preventing rabbit damage. If Buffalo has another hard winter I will be able to. Last winter the rabbits girdled so many trees in my area to stave starvation. I can say for certain that it stopped the deer.

I gave some of my bone sauce to a friend in the area who runs a landscaping company. I'll ask him about rabbit prevention this winter too.
 
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The original presentation was of an overgrazed area, where tree damage had occurred when goats (?) were used to clear the ground for planting. I suspect that this concoction is designed to prevent vegetarian animals (goats, rabbit, deer, elk, moose etc) from nibbling bark in the same way bone or blood meal is used to discourage squirrels from eating bulbs. When animals run out of ground cover to graze/consume, obviously they would move on to bark - nibbling on bark exposes the cambrian (sp?) layer and kills the tree - something common in areas of deep snow, or when goats etc. are released to clear a field or area of ground vegetation (weeds) and are not closely monitored. I also suspect that this could be an attractant to predatory /carnivorous animals, in the short term, but not the long term.
 
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I'm curious about it attracting coyotes. The neighbors have a Great Pyrennes that has "adopted" this area. He patrols, keeps everyone (including our goats,geese, and chickens safe; plus the other neighbor's orchard and hayfield) safe. I would like to plant more trees, but not at the expense of everything else that's already here.
 
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I think it has everything to do with the smell of burnt marrow, boiling bone to obtain marrow grease will not convey the same primal message :animals were burnt here.  Burnt things retain a smell for a long long time.
 
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First time for me reading up on this stuff and I'm interested to hear how the longer-term users are faring.  Can you still see the bone sauce on the branches?  Are the deer still leaving new green growth alone?

Can you smell the bone sauce if you're nearby the tree?  Is this not something to put in my front yard, for fear my children will die of the stench?
 
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Hey Paul, I just stumbled onto this old post and am super curious if you have tried this bone gue of animal terror yet.

I'm new to permies,  and I don't know if there's a way to tag you or something. But if you see this, sweet!

Thanks

- Jordan
 
Jordan Harder
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Actually, i couldn't see all these newer posts when i wrote that. Never mind, sounds cool! Stoked to give it a try.
 
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Jennifer Smith wrote:I guess as usual I see something else here. 

I am seeing dry picked, clean, sun bleached, old bones.  Nothing tasty there.  I am seeing this gunk being absorbed into the trees and becoming part of them forever.  More a calcium paste than a tasty paste, 

I would not partisipate in this forum if I did not think Paul is worth listening to, and if he believes, I for one will try it.



I just read this in his book today. Page 166. The bone were all saved from the years slaughtering and SMOKED. The were stored in a screened chest so they had ventilation and dried out. Then bone salve burning man came by in the fall. The bones were crushed to fit in the pot. The fire built around the top pot had to be not too hot and not too cold. The right temperature caused the fat from the bones to drip into the water. If a spark reached the steaming oil there could be an explosion. When done you had a sticky brown mass in the bottom and light gray flecks of bone in the top pot. This bone salve was used as medicine on animals and to keep flies off the animals at harvest. The bone salve to use on trees had other ingredients added. Page 114. Add linseed oil, soaked lime, fine quartz sand and fresh cow dung to make a spreadable consistency which we would paint on with a brush or a broom. If you add more linseed oil you can sprinkle it on "like holy water". He says you can make a a similar brew from mineral naptha or beechwood tar but it isn't as good so you should burn pig bristles or cattle hair to add to it. The linseed oil is made from flax seed and holds the other ingredients together and makes it stick to the tree. The quartz sand is unpleasant to eat. In the book he said it lasted for years but did not say decades.
 
Barbara Clowers
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Slaked lime not soaked. Auto-incorrect
 
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Kind of slapping myself for not having tried this. My yearly tree planting involves purchasing 36 t posts and a couple rolls of remesh to protect them. Costly in $ and labor.

Deer pressure is heavy but i put my cows in that area a couple days a month. Any insite if they will stay away from the trees vs not nibbling them? Cows like to rub against trees to scratch their head or get flies off their body. Horses also. I lost a small apple tree to a belly rub.
 
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:I think cheap wrought iron (aka mild steel) would work like cast iron, it just would wear out after a few uses. The chemistry of wrought iron vs. cast iron is very nearly the same as far as surface chemistry; exactly so, in the case of high-temperature reducing environments like the pyrolysis still Sepp describes.

A steel drum would work great AFAIK.


Is an oil drum made of steel? Here, cast iron pots are rare and kettles even more so. But, I oil drums can be found.
 
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Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft
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I have a suggestion: instead of using two cast iron pots, use two used paint cans.

I checked a half empty can here with a magnet. It's steel, not aluminum or plastic, both of which would melt. Now I'm not going to suggest you paint your trees with residues of paint, but a latex can may clean off fairly well. I never tried to get a paint can clean. I'm thinking if you quickly used a couple gallon cans of paint so that there's no build up of dried paint that the can may clean up fairly easily. But let's step back a moment. I read here that two cast iron pots might cost $250?, I don't know. But if you went out and bought two cans of latex paint you ain't gonna spend no $250.

I think that thick lip on the paint can would make it easier to seal. You could even strap an air force clamp around the two cans at the lips,  and then seal it with clay.

And think of this. What will the wife think of you if you run out buy two cans of paint and paint the living room next Saturday.

edit:

So you paint some trees with the mixture, how're you going to store what's left. Why you hammer the lid back on.... of course.

edit 2

Maybe we should drop the air force clamp. I'm afraid that when the pressure builds the clamp will hold the two cans together until the pressure builds enough to do some real damage.

 
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Before I get messy... Has anyone tried making a manure slurry and sprayed/rubbed it onto trees to stop them from eating leaves and pulling branches of? I don't mind the rubbing problem, I just stick a stout fence post either side of the trunk and they rub on that instead.
 
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Does this work with domesticated livestock on quick rotations if given abundant space to graze (say perhaps double the space they would normally get per day, or even more if necessary) maybe not goats.

Details: I'm rotating one steer calf and one hogget (yearling sheep) through about two acres of poor pasture meadow trying to improve it.

My little diverse orchard would benefit a lot from setting the grass back if I could flash graze through it without having to fence the trees off.

I have mature trees close enough to the orchard I could include one or two in the paddocks for rubbing posts.
 
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Hello gang!
So I cooked my first batch of bones for bone sauce today (cooling as I type this).  After reading through this thread and watching the video I realize a couple of mistakes that I made.  Hopefully they will not be detrimental to the outcome!  I used to old cast iron wash pots.  We have one and I borrowed another.  They were different sizes, but hopefully I was able to get a good enough seal.
A question that still remains is about the additives to the bone renderings.  In his book Sepp mentions adding linseed oil, sand, lime, and cow manure (referenced a couple times in the thread) and the video mentions adding any edible oil, but nowhere did I find amounts/ratios.  Can someone answer this for me, please?
Also, does anyone know if it safe to apply to Paulownia seedlings?  Just around the base of course.
Many thanks,
Andy
 
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I am having problems with deer eating tomatoes, columbine, staghorn sumac, knifophia and many other plants listed to be deer resistant.  I went to permies to find the bone sauce recipe,and looking for recent posts.  Anybody have any updates on methods materials and results?

I live in a small mostly conservative mountain town in western colorado where many people LIKE the town dwelling deer.I am trying to create a food forest on my half acre,and really need help!

I will check back in a couple of days,meanwhile can begin to assemble materials and equipment.

Thanks
 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
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Consider a dense hedge of fig or densely planted plum cuttings (a growing green wall), a barrier planting like berries roses fig plum .. I'm sure many have other plant suggestions. Also dogs. Deer are hard to get rid of.. plant what they hate outside barrier plantings. I've found no sign of disturbance on fig hedge for many years now. Rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, sage, feverfew, foxglove, flowering tobacco all are deer proof.  I'd push those to the outside of your plantings. Also observed ..Drought will make them eat stuff they normally leave alone.  Water source outside your food forest might also help, sometimes they just need water and wet greens provide that. Just a few tid bits.
 
Andy Youngblood
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Hey Thekla I ended up not adding anything to the cooked bone renderings. Just painted a 3-6 inch strip on the small trees and it seems to be keeping the deer off of some pecan, chestnut, and sawtooth oak that I planted. Young lambs, that want to taste everything, seem to need a learning curve. Also painted a few fruit trees for a neighbor that the deer had already begun working on and they ceased messing with them.
Hope this helps!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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funny, I did not get the notification that folk had posted to this topic.  I just came back today to look for the recipe, and found your posts.

I have the bones and the pots, just need to cook it down now.

plenty of deer still waiting to be deterred!
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