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Mr. Smarty Plants - Deer deterrent for Texas Persimmon

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Thursday - September 23, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer deterrent for Texas Persimmon
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

The deer have destroyed my Texas Persimmon by standing on their hind legs and pulling down the branches--either ripping them off entirely or twisting them. I didn't realize the persimmon fruit would stay on the branches so long. How long is the typical fruit bearing season for persimmon, and is there any deterrent short of pruning all the low branches or installing an electric fence around the tree?

ANSWER:

Deer have become almost epidemic in nature in the Texas Hill Country, as well as other parts of the North American continent. Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana) is a Spring blooming plant, setting fruit during early Summer after successful pollination. The fruit will mature and ripen by the end of Summer/early Fall, & sometimes the dried fruit will persist on the stem or drop with time if not picked and eaten by either birds, or in your case deer. Besides fencing the specimen or fencing your property, there are products on the market that are deterrents, chemicals replicating scents & taste that deer tend to avoid (i.e. egg putrescence or cayenne pepper taste). Most repellents are not appropriate for food crops, and may not be an option with the type of tree that you are describing. If you decide to utilize a chemical deterrent, carefully read the labels for proper use and for the chemical that most fits your needs. There is an excellent book out on the market, written by Rhonda Messingham Hart, entitled "Deer Proofing Your Yard & Garden", with environmentally responsible deer control techniques that really work, including homemade deterrents, landscaping designs that repel deer, and plant lists. I also suggest contacting your local county Extension agent office to receive further advice and articles on appropriate steps to take in deterring deer.

 

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Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

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