damaged baby fruit trees

angelanelsAugust 7, 2014

The deer ate many of the leaves on my baby green gage plum and one of my cherry trees . . .

And these gross tiny green caterpillars ate much of the leaves on my baby apple trees while we were on vacation. Sprayed with spinosad and the caterpillars seem to be all dead (this is one week later), but---

Is there anything I can do at this point to help my damaged trees? I planted them a few months ago, and they were growing so well, leafing out very full and looking great until this point!

Any effective deer repellent (does the raw egg spray work?) that does not require a high fence?? This is a small front yard and I can't do a big fence. Can't wait for hunting season around here . . . !

Thank you for any help!

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nyRockFarmer(5A Southern Tier, NY)

I know deer absolutely savor cherry tree leaves, but I never had much of a problem with the other fruits. They might sample the apple leaves, but then move on to something else that is better. The cherry trees they will clean all the leaves off. Cherry leaves must be mighty tasty.

I made ~3' diameter cylindrical fence cages by wrapping 10' of wire weld fence around the tree and wiring it together. Then I anchored a few spots to the ground at the bottom. I remove the cages when the tree are tall enough to be mostly out of reach for the deer. If you have dwarf trees, they might never be out reach from the deer.

I never tried the putrefying deer repellent sprays. It sounded like too much of hassle to spray the trees all the time.

This post was edited by nyRockFarmer on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 20:22

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Woven wire fencing cages should work. I use 6x6" concrete reinforcing wire mesh. Stiff enough to stand on its own and it rusts, so it blends in more.

Fish emulsion spray generally keeps deer away, but it needs to be renewed after rains or after a few days when it smell goes down. (It may drive some people off too)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:52PM
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I use a time-sensitive motion sensor high-pressure automatic water repellent for my valuables. I have it connected to a 50g water barrel for passive heating the greenhouse, but it connects to the tap too. It works wonderfully, even the squirrels have stopped burrying weed nuts and uprooting the bonsai. It works on the turkeys too. I got mine cheap from Guangzhou, China on Ebay, like 10$. It's like a 2-month delivery tho, as is pretty much everything from China.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 12:11AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

My deer will eat the leaves off any of my fruit trees. They haven't hit the hazelnuts, but I'm not confident that they wouldn't.

I just string netting throughout the tree and it works great for mine. Mine do have tons else to eat in my woods, near the orchard, etc so they aren't actually hungry, though. I don't know if it would work under severe deer pressure. Mine just like the buffet and try whatever I'm growing first because they've learned that I plant cool stuff ;)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:06PM
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I've been lucky I have never had a problem with deer eating my trees. Though they have almost killed a couple by rubbing on them. They actually bed down underneath them. Though they have some much to eat that they leave the trees alone.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:16PM
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just wait, insteng.
I went years with no problems due to deer - plenty of open country, woodlands, corn & soybean fields around here.
Allowed two fawns, orphaned when their dam died in the EHD oubreak of 2007, to grow up in the orchard. Even though I harvested one of them that fall, I now have deer in the orchard every night. Uncaged, mulberries have not a chance to survive - they eat every leaf as soon as it emerges. There's not a pear or apple below their reach anywhere in my orchard at this moment. I have to cage young blueberries to prevent the deer & rabbits from consuming them, and strawberries have to be fenced in - the plants are like candy to deer.
Buck rubs...a problem every fall.
Between myself, my boys, and a friend who hunts here...I'm convinced that we can't kill enough of the hooved rats during the skimpy little hunting season here to make a dent in the population.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:29PM
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