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Deer stripping my oak trees  RSS feed

 
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To cut a long and depressing story short

Today I have noticed that the majority of my oak trees ,500 in total, have had their bark stripped. The trees were planted in a field that was been kept up for sheep after scanning so there is an.ocena of grass in the field but oh no these fucking pricks have to go to each tree and strip all the bark.

Just wondering are there any products out there that can be mixed with water and sprayed onto trees, a product which would have a foul taste yet wouldn't actually damage the tree.

I have bout a few bottles of this product
https://www.johnstowngardencentre.ie/p/grazers-animal-repellant---effective-against-rabbitspigeonsdeer/grazers

Any opinions on it or other suggestions would be appreciated.

The deer have stripped alot of bark about cheat height but also have ringed the tree as the base, but I am thinking perhaps hare's have also joined in. I have some tree guards which I will be putting on tomorrow and hopefully the product I bought will.come.soon.

Any other tips to keep the deer away? I will be going up to the area tomorrow before first light so hopefully they won't come during the night.
 
pollinator
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Are sheep in the field now?
 
garden master
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Have you heard of sepp holzer's recipe to keep animals off of trees

https://permies.com/t/1805/critters/Sepp-Holzer-recipe-animals-trees

"First you start with a cast iron kettle and bury it a bit and put a cup of water in the bottom. The fill another kettle with bones, put a screen over it and then plop the bone kettle upside down on the other kettle. Then pack clay around the edges to make a good seal. Then Pile up some dirt and build a big fire over the whole thing."
 
Jay Mullaky
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Ken W Wilson wrote:Are sheep in the field now?



No sheep are in this field.
 
Jay Mullaky
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I will.check.that Anne, i.am.just going up now to put up a scarecrow
 
Ken W Wilson
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That’s a lot of trees to spray. How big are they?

I bought something to deter deer that was made with capsaicin. I ended up not needing so don’t know if it works.. The little woods they were coming from got cleared off to build a facility for disabled people. I wonder if you could make something with ghost or scorpion peppers?

What part of the world are you in?

I guess this sounds mean, but salsa with the right amount of ghost peppers is pretty tasty. So if you could figure out hot enough to deter but not actually harm, it could work great.
 
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When you say "strip", did they rub the bark off with their antlers or eat the buds and tips off?  If the bark was eaten off, I'd suspect other critters did it.  And if they're under 1/2" in diameter I doubt bucks would rub them.  And they definitely wouldn't search out that many to rub on...

Edit:  Just noticed you said chest high.  How tall of a person's chest is that?  Buck rubs seem to be about 1-3 feet off the ground around here.  Please let us know what state/country you are in and what kind of deer you're talking about.   Pictures would help too :)
 
Jay Mullaky
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Thanks for the replies.

I am in Ireland and deer aren't that common around my area however they have been seen crossing over the mountain.

The trees vary from 6/7 foot to 14 foot, it was actually on one of the biggest trees that I first noticed the damage, the bark looked to be scraped off in vertical strips around 5 foot off the ground.

We have another area with that was planted approx 6 years ago, and in the first year we noticed some damage on the trees and assumed it was sheep as sheep at been in that field. My father painted some kind of paint onto the trees and that stopped the damage, though thinking back now it was also possible a deer.

I have just been up at the field and erected 3 scarecrows and hung jacked and my gym gear on them, also gathered all the socks from the wash and hung them on the stakes that support the trees, so hopefully this will be enough to scare the deer away.and I will be back up again tomorrow before day break.

Another trick I might try is one I used on my new fruit trees. I planted 20 small apple trees and allowed some small pet lambs in with them. The lambs went straight to the trees and started pulling at the leaves. I took the lambs out and mixed up some sheep shit and water in a bucked and smeared some of this on the trees and stakes that are supporting them and flicked some of the shit mixture onto the leaves. I let the lambs in the follow day and they went straight to the trees but after some sniffing didn't touch  the leaves and not a single leaf was eaten over the 2/3 months that they were.in with the trees.

 
Mike Jay
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Ok, vertical bark strips does sound like deer rubbing their antlers.  Your deer must be very tall.  I'm not sure if a spray will prevent that.  The only thing I'm aware of is a wire or plastic sleeve around the trunk.  Another option I heard of is planting thorny things around the tree to prevent easy access.  But that would be hard to do on 500 trees in the next day or two..

I'm surprised they are destroying that many of your trees by rubbing.  Our deer tend to rub a tree to mark an area.  They don't mark all the trees. 
 
Jay Mullaky
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I think most of the damage has been done by the deer eating the bark as the marks seem to have been done by teeth. The deer might have been doing this for a few weeks but I hadn't seen any reason to inspect them for this kind of damage.

Would hares take bark of trees this size? a large amount of trees just have the bottom 1/2 inches of bark removed. It's pretty depressing. These acorns were all collected by hand from specific Oak trees and we were planning to plant another 500 out this year, but whats the fucking point.

best I can do is provide some deterrents but ideally I will find something I can put in a sprayer and cover each tree in a mist that will taste horrible to a deer. I also think I will make a few permanent scarecrows that i can move around and I will be putting tree guards on tomorrow, thankfully I have a few hundred.

I am just hoping that enough of the bark remains on some of the trees so they can heal up.
 
Mike Jay
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If it's the bottom few inches, I'd suspect hares or mice or some other rodent.  They'll definitely eat bark off a tree that size.  Sprays may work better in those cases (deer antlers don't have taste buds).  Or cages.  But that's a lot of cages. 
 
Ken W Wilson
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Could damage higher up possibly be squrriels? I’ve seen cedars with peeled bark more than ten feet up. I thought it was squrriels, but I never knew for sure.

Cottontail rabbits eat bark around the bottom. I bet hares do too.
 
Jay Mullaky
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I would doubt it's squirrels as we don't really have any around the area. I will take some pictures tomorrow. The field has plenty of grass in it so its really fecking annoying that they went for the bark. I don't think it is antler damage as there aren't many broken branches.
 
Jay Mullaky
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Interesting, mixing some sand into the paint.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqeX2Ff0nVE

Would painting smaller trees 8-11 years old damage the tree?

I have seen pictures/videos of fruit trees painted white to protect them from sun damage, so just a case of finding a suitable paint and then adding sand.
 
Jay Mullaky
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Ok so

water based latex paint and fine sand

This seems to be a good solution

I will get this tomorrow, I have also ordered 500 spiral guards.

I am trying to be positive and hopefully any future plants will be a lot safer
 
Anne Miller
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The only sure way to keep deer from damaging trees is to put up an electric fence or some other type of fencing.  There are several posts here on permies regarding string fences or ones using fishing line.

The only other deterrent we have found are lights, especially the motion sensor kind.
 
Mike Jay
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I tried the fishing line fence and it didn't work.  I think the dew on the string gave it away.  But that's just a guess...
 
Jay Mullaky
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These marks are over 5 foot of the ground.

I suspect a lot of the lower damage has been caused by hares.

I have bought a large pot of white emulsion paint and will mix it with sand and paint it on the trees and then add a tree guard, so one foot of white paint and then the 2 foot tree guard on top
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IMG_20180115_123139125.jpg
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Your trees may well survive, as there's vascularity in the young stem's heartwood until they're somewhat talker than you. Seriously, no beating around the bush here....ANYONE who spends their precious time and resources to plant a lot of trees, shouldn't piss around with mediocre deer proofing strategies and woo-woo crap.
I planted 3,000 trees with rabbit guards and messed around for 4 years trying to keep deer off them, unsuccessfully. Just a couple of small deer can browse off terminal buds and side growth from several acres in successive cycles. The only way I stopped them was with long posts knocked in to 7 foot high, 9 foot spacing and well braced on all corners. Straining wires were put on at 4 1/2 inches apart (our roe deer, like whitetails will push through 6 inch spacing), with a wire at ground level and barbed wire as the top strand. THEN old rabbit or chicken fencing was secured along the bottom, as we had it spare.
Sure, it ain't pretty, but we grow black, tay, and loganberries up it, so it provides us with a good fruiting trellis. The main job now is to prune away the 'witches brooms' to buds that'll form the new leaders.
 
Jay Mullaky
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Thanks for the reply.

Deer really wouldn't be that common in the area, I actually have never seen one on our land but sometimes you will see a print where one has passed through the land.

The biggest danger to our trees has always been the rams, if they get in then they will smash every tree.

I have a number of deterrents which I feel will stop the continuous attacks of the hares and the occasional threat of the deer.

I think the paint mixed with sand will put off any Hares. I have also bought a few bottles of a liquid deterrent that lasts 3 months so will be adding.

And I have another 500 tree wraps arriving tomorrow.


 
Mike Jay
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How big are your deer?  And/or how big are their antlers?  Our deer could eat something 5-6 feet off the ground (apple, bark, etc) but they could only get their antlers to rub something maybe 4' off the ground. 

That does kind of look like antler damage to me...  If that's the case I think physical separation of the trunk from the antlers is the only solution (wire cage 6' high, fence around the field, pack of wolves, etc).
 
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