How to Keep Deer from Eating Your Trees This Winter

How to Keep Deer from Eating Your Trees This Winter

There are few animals quite like deer. From the majestic stag to the adorable little fawn, they’ve captured our hearts and imaginations in countless different pieces of our culture. In real life, however, deer can present a real problem to property owners. The most beautiful trees can be ravaged by hungry deer, reducing them to gnawed shrubs.

As winter approaches, you’ll want to do everything you can to deer-proof your trees. As a professional tree care service with years of experience, Mr. Tree has picked up more than a few ways to humanely protect your property from deer. Here are just a few different ways how to keep deer from eating trees.

Make a Habit of Scaring Them Away

As anyone who has ever encountered a deer can tell you, they’re not the bravest creatures. If you ever see one in your backyard, all it really takes to frighten it off is to step outside and make your presence known. While you can’t be guarding your yard all the time, it’s worth getting in the habit of keeping an eye out for them when you can. If you can consistently frighten them away when you’re home, they may decide on their own that your property isn’t a safe place to be

If you own dogs, bringing them out with you can help add to the message. An angry human is enough to frighten a deer, but an angry human with a barking dog is more than enough to make them think twice about coming back.

Tree trimming/ canopy lift

The easiest way to stop deer from eating your trees is to take them out of the deers range. This only works for medium or large trees, but the general premise is you remove the lower branches of the tree either DIY or using a tree cutting service near you.

Protect Your Trees with Soap

Everyone has soap in their homes, for the obvious reasons, but did you know it could be used to protect your trees? It’s a simple but effective technique to keep deer from eating them in the winter months. In order for it to work, you need to be sure you’re using soap made with tallow. Tallow, also known as sodium tallowate, is derived from fatty animal acids and repels deer when strategically placed in your yard.

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If you have bar soap, you simply create a perimeter with it around your trees. If you have liquid soap instead, you can apply it directly to the tree. Be careful not to use any soap with coconut oil, though, as this may end up attracting deer instead.

Use Branded Deer Repellant

If the DIY soap method isn’t for you, there are plenty of professionally made deer repellent products on the market. The vast majority of these products keep deer away through a combination of smell and taste deterrent, similar to how the strong smell of soap keeps deer from eating trees. By utilizing smells like rotten eggs, dried blood, and other nasty scents, the repellants can trick deer into thinking there’s a dead or dying animal on your property. Dead animals could mean danger for deer, and the smell alone can be enough to give them pause.

Should they be brave enough to venture closer and try to nibble your trees a bit, they’ll find the flavor more than a little unappealing. Just be sure to keep applying the repellant diligently. If you can remember to replenish the repellant every week or so, you should be able to keep your trees safe through the winter.

Hang Loud or Busy Decorations Near Your Trees

Repellants are an excellent line of defense for your garden, but it shouldn’t be your only one. If you want another method that will keep deer from eating your trees, you can always just add some new decorations. It might sound silly, but you can actually keep deer away from your yard by hanging flashy or noisy things around it.

If you want something deer will hate that you might actually enjoy having around, you can try wind chimes. Wind chimes, or really anything that makes sudden noises, will make them feel uneasy on your property.

You can also incorporate yard decorations that move or sway with wind or solar energy, as flashy objects with unexpected movements and unnatural patterns are also effective at frightening deer. While neither chimes nor decorations alone are likely to keep your trees safe from deer, they can certainly help combat the problem.

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Put Up a Physical Barrier

If deterrents aren’t cutting it, you might be best served by just restricting access entirely. This isn’t the most pleasant technique to keep deer from eating trees, but it’s definitely one of the most direct and effective. By erecting deer-proof fencing, you can avoid the problem altogether. Keep in mind that deer can jump up to eight feet, so you’ll need to ensure the barrier is high enough to keep them out.

You have a little bit more leeway if the fence you erect can’t be seen through, as deer are hesitant to jump into an unknown environment. If a fence seems too extreme or unsightly, you can also try to modify the terrain surrounding your property to make it unappealing to deer. Large swaths of uneven, rocky areas can also keep deer out, while not taking too much away from the aesthetic appeal of your property.

Use Tree Netting or Wraps

Sometimes the only way to keep deer from eating trees is to take the meal off the table, so to speak. If you’re going into the winter with a real deer problem, you can always use tree netting or wraps to keep the leafy greens out of any hungry deer’s reach. The wraps aren’t the prettiest things to look at, but they can be a highly effective way of pulling your tree’s branches up and out of danger. If you have any newer trees, it’s highly recommended to wrap or net them. Younger trees are more susceptible to serious damage from grazing, and extra effort should be made to keep them safe.

If you still don’t know how best to protect your trees, we’re happy to provide you with an expert opinion. Whether you need to protect your trees in the winter, spring, summer, or fall, we’ll be here to provide you with the top-notch care and assistance that you deserve.


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