You may not be the only one that loves your trees. Rodents and deer may also want to take advantage of the tree you’ve planted on your property. Even if you think these animals are cute and enjoy watching them scurry around, it is possible for them to do irreparable damage to your trees. We have a few ideas for you if you need to implement some protection measures for your trees.
A great way to deter critters and deer alike is to create a purposeful barrier. Surround the tree with wire fencing then plant a hedge in front of the wire fencing to hide it. Make sure the hedge plant you choose is a deterrent for deer and is at least five feet tall. If you also have issues with smaller rodents like squirrels, add a finer mesh around the bottom two to three feet with another foot buried below the ground. A barrier around the tree is a great option if you don’t want a tall perimeter fence around your entire property. For smaller, tender trees, you may want to add PVC tubing around the trunk to provide additional protection while it grows.
Another great option is to install something that will startle the animals as they get close to the tree, similar to a scarecrow in a cornfield. Consider placing shiny and reflective objects around the tree, a fake owl on your roof or a sturdy branch, or some wind chimes that will make noise when they move. You can also add motion-activated devices to catch them in the act—some even spray water on the animal when they turn on. You can feel good about scaring away offending critters without the worry that they’re going to get hurt.
There are many plant-based repellants on the market that are safe for use on trees and effective. There are natural choices that won’t harm your tree, other plants, or your pets. They also won’t harm other animals, they will just deter the ones you particularly don’t want snacking on your tree.
This one is probably considered a last resort, but if nothing is working and your tree is suffering, you may need to result to chemicals. You’ll want to read the labels carefully and make sure your pets are not in harm’s way. You also may want to discuss your options with an arborist before starting a chemical treatment on your tree, especially if the damage is extensive.
Sometimes the problem with the tree is actually a pest or bug infestation. In this case, a variety of other measures can be taken. If you’re concerned about your trees and think they may be suffering at the hands of a rodent, deer, or other animal, give us a call for advice. We can help assess the situation to see how damaged the tree is and recommend the best approach to get it healthy again, properly trim it, or remove it if needed.