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Wednesday - August 27, 2008

From: Dalton, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Height of plastic tree guards to protect against deer
Answered by: Nan Hampton


How high do the plastic tree guards used to prevent deer rubbing need to be? I live in northeastern Pa.


When the bucks' new antlers are mature in August or September they begin rubbing them against trees, shrubs, rocks, etc., to remove the dead skin that is covering them.  According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the average adult white-tailed deer buck is 32 to 34 inches at the shoulder. Other estimates I've seen put the shoulder height at 3.5 feet.  I couldn't find any figures on how tall the deer is after you include the head and the antlers, but from direct observation I would add about 15-18 inches.  Since the deer does have to lower its head a bit to put its antlers in contact with the 'rubbing post' you probably don't need to put up a 6 foot guard, but I think 4.5 to 5 foot guard would be a good idea.

When you install the plastic guard, be sure there is sufficient ventilation between it and the tree to discourage moisture accumulation and potential fungal growth.  Please read the answer to a previous question about protecting trees from deer to find types and sources for tree guards.


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