I have had success with fencing made of concrete reinforcing wire, which has the advantage of being able to stand on its own. This 5' fencing will keep out deer if a small area is fenced, they think it is a trap and won't jump in, but they may jump over if a large area is fenced. Currently I'm making tall fencing from two heights of sheep fencing, but it needs to be supported by posts.
For rabbits, I protect my trees with gutter covers cut into 18 inch strips and wire tied together into triangular sets of three as shown below. In the Midwest, Menards often sells the gutter covers for free after rebate, so the total cost of each guard is only that of a few inches of wire.
While guards help, during the winter months you will also want to do some trapping to cut down on the rabbit population. At $15 a trap, the Rural King 2 Trap Value Pack is the best deal in town for me on traps that are selective and humane.
I save the plastic woven bags that bulbs come in, usually large daffodil bags, and wrap them around the trunk loosely. That stopped bucks from rubbing their antlers on the trunks, and it stopped pack rats from chewing at the base. I use daffodils to plant around perennials that need protection from gophers.
If you need something real quick, and it's not raining, you can make an egg yolk spray and spray it on the trunk and leaves. Separate 3 eggs, put the yolks in a bowl and add about a half cup of water, beat with a fork, then strain it through a strainer into a kitchen-type hand spray bottle, You have to strain it or the bits will clog the sprayer. Then put about 1 tsp dish soap in the bottle for a spreader/sticker, then fill it up with water. Mammals hate the smell of egg yolk. It's not the stinky part, there is another chemical in the yolk. Raccoons, rabbits, deer, rodents will leave anything alone when sprayed with this mix. If it rains, repeat the spraying, but if it is dry it will last for a few days. That size bottle goes pretty far. Store it in the refrigerator, making sure to clear out the spray tube after each use.
But if raccoons are climbing the trees and breaking branches, and deer are chewing at the branches, an 8 foot chicken wire fence is about the only thing that stops them, and gives you peace of mind.
Don't fall for the My-Place-Is-Special, It-Won't-Happen-Here Syndrome.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Is this a tiny ad?