Many homeowners and gardeners spend time and money applying deer tree wraps to tree trunks during the fall and winter, hoping to avoid damage from rutting deer. The practice can help avoid damage to tree bark from deer antlers, but it does not prevent defoliation and limb destruction by foraging deer.
Deer tree wraps are strips of heavy burlap, thick plastic, metal mesh, or chicken wire that is wrapped one to two inches away from the trunks of protected trees. The wraps begin below the soil level and are wound around the trunk in a diagonal fashion until approximately the trees second branch.
Spiral deer tree wraps prevent trunk damage from nibbling predators such as rabbits and deer. However, if the wraps are placed too tightly around the tree, they can create suitable conditions for insect and fungus infestations between the wrap and the tree. If the wrap is not removed for an extended period of time, it can actually girdle the tree, resulting in hindered growth or even death.
Deer tree wraps also prevent damage from rutting deer, which can cause severe bark damage by rubbing their antlers against tree trunks. Deer rutting can vary by location, but it generally takes place during mating seasons, when males leave their scent on tree trunks to attract females and thwart male competitors.
What deer tree wraps cannot do – and are not designed to do – is prevent deer from nibbling on tree buds, shoots and limbs. Even when food is plentiful, deer have been known to enjoy young tree branches, with softer buds and leaves being particular favorites. When food is scarce, deer will munch on mature tree leaves, branches, and even bark. Deer tree wraps cannot be left on year-round, so they are not effective long-term deer deterrents.
Effective Method for Protecting Trees
The Wireless Deer Fence® is proven effective in deterring deer from yards, gardens, and trees. These sets of posts function much like a baited electric fence, but without the wires. Deer are attracted by a sweet scent, and when they touch the Wireless Deer Fence® post, they receive a mild but memorable shock on the nose.
I have a large asparagus bed, about 75 feet by 12 feet, in eastern NY. The deer population is bad enough out here that it prompts town hall meetings to try and figure out control methods! The herd in my neighborhood have slowly developed a taste for my asparagus … I lost 10% one year, 25% the next, then 40% the following. Well, I could see where this was going. Discouraged at the prospect of tall fencing and the eyesore it would be, I thought I’d try your product. Put 3 posts in the first year and saw an immediate drop to about 15% loss. Added 6 more this year, and after a short training period I have lost 0%. None. Zip. Nada. Not a single spear eaten! That’s impressive.
An excellent investment. Good job!