Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 04, 2008

From: Clovis, CA
Region: California
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Protection of redwoods from deer rutting
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have a mountain home that we visit every other weekend. Are there any methods to protect redwoods from deer rutting that we can put in place since we are not there enough to spray repellent every few days or after it rains?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you mean damage to the trunk of your redwoods that the deer cause when they rub their antlers against the trunk to remove the itchy dry skin (velvet) before the rut. We have the same problem with small trees here in Texas, also. The deer love to rub their itchy antlers on young oaks and can completely girdle them and kiil them if the trunks aren't protected. There are several commercial products available:

Sentree Treeguard

Wraparound plastic tree guards

Corrugated plastic tree guards

Miracle Tubes

You can also make your own using heavy duty plastic mesh or metal wire (chicken wire or hardware cloth) from the hardware store. You will need to check frequently to be sure the guard hasn't become tight around the tree as the trunk expands. Also, you should be sure the guards offer plenty of ventilation so that moisture doesn't build up between the guard and the trunk or so that the guard doesn't provide a area for insects to collect.  Here is an article from University of New Hampshire, "Tree Guards for Tree and Shrub Protection" with instructions for making tree guards.  Their guards are geared towards smaller animal (rodents and rabbits) damage, but the height of the guard could be increased for deer. 

Another option is to build a small diameter (2-3 feet) fence around each tree using metal fence stakes and wire mesh. How practical this option is probably depends on how many trees you need to protect.

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer Resistant plants in South Dakota
November 03, 2011 - Plants and flowers that deer wont eat and will grow in Black Hills, SD
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for Central Texas
July 25, 2011 - I live in a community that is overrun with deer, thanks to neighbors who feed them daily. I am looking for TRUE deer resistant plants for beds...they have eaten my lantana, salvia, esperanza, jasmine...
view the full question and answer

Determining best time to harvest deer grass seeds in California
September 06, 2006 - When is the best time to harvest deer grass seeds at about 4,000 feet in southern Riverside County California??
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Deer-Resistant Plants
March 22, 2004 - Do you have a list of Texas plants that are deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant wildflowers for Virginia
May 25, 2010 - Looking for deer-resistant native wild flowers for full-sun location in the Northern Neck of Virginia. We want to replace large area now grass lawn.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.