Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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.

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer Resistance Input from Northern VA
June 22, 2016 - Hello. I live in the deer infested woods of Northern VA. I am always looking for plants that deer have little interest in to cover other plants. The deer generally have little interest in mints (Py...
view the full question and answer

Recommendation for variety of St. Johnswort (Hypericum spp.)
April 14, 2008 - Hi. Can you please recommend a variety of St. Johnswort for my yard in the Texas Hill Country? The planting bed is on a southern side of the house, and is shielded from afternoon sun by a tree. The ar...
view the full question and answer

Deer deterrent for Texas Persimmon
September 23, 2004 - 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...
view the full question and answer

Plants with latex-containing sap
December 23, 2008 - Hi, I was on a nature hike this past summer in Yosemite, and our Ranger guide told us about latex in the Milkweed and the Western Dogwood being a defense mechanism against browsing by deer. I'm a lan...
view the full question and answer

Is India Hawthorne a deer-resistant plant?
July 03, 2011 - Is India Hawthorne a deer resistant plant in Beaufort County South Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.