Plants That Repel Ticks
Tick repellent plants have not been as well studied as plants that repel mosquitoes but among the plants believed to repel ticks are:
pyrethrum (type of crysanthemum)
Lots of deer there?
This article talks about the white - footed mouse being the vector for lyme disease in that part of the world.
Maybe you can find the vector in your area and deal with that. A couple of hungry cats comes to mind.
BTW, those plants I listed are not necessarily part of a fruit tree guild, I simply googled "tick repelling plants".
I bet better diversity of habitat will mean more insectivores scurrying through the undergrowth, eating the ticks. I understand some people raise Guinea fowl as a predator. I understand chickens will prey on smaller tick-hosting animals with a little training, and probably eat ticks as well...plus they seem to be part of most forest garden plans for many other reasons.
however, you might also try attracting wild birds..i have lived in a high deer area for 39 years and have never had a tick on me..ever.
people complain about deer ticks..but i feed the deer and don't get ticks.
i do put flea and tick collars on my cats though, to protect them mostly from fleas..but maybe they are killing off the ticks too?