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Tree Talk - Metropolitan Forestry Services

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September 9, 2019

DEER DAMAGE

 

SEPTEMBER is RUBBING SEASON for DEER!

Deer damage is going to increase as we get into August and September.  This is the time that the bucks will be rubbing on the trunks of trees to remove their velvet and also to establish their territories and preparing for the rut.  It is time to start thinking about protecting the trunks of all of those trees, especially the new smaller trees and shrubs up to 8-10” in diameter.  Those are all fair game for the bucks to rip the bark off.  One bucks destructive rampage can leave trees irreparably damaged.  Some varieties of maples and other thinned bark ornamentals have had the entire bark stripped off and large sections of trunk and cambium ripped apart.  So be prepared and protect those trees!

Damage can also be observed on most of the plant material in your yards as the deer graze from yard to yard eating annuals, perennials, shrubs and garden produce they may come across.  We found that the list of “deer resistant” plant material diminishes.  So far, we’ve been safe with Green Giant Arborvitaes and Boxwoods (which are the only things as far as shrubs that are safe).  Now they’re starting to nibble slightly on the Green Giants Arborvitaes but not as freely as they have been munching on yews, junipers, spruces, and pines over the wintertime when their food sources are limited they will eat anything

Deer fencing placed around a tree trunk can be effective as long as it is properly installed and secure.  Also it should not hinder tree growth or damage the tree.  There are several malodorous deterrent sprays which can be successful, but you must reapply often.   Many times, simply spreading Milorganite over your groundcovers, perennials and daylily beds is enough to keep the deer from munching on some of those things.  Please call us if we can help with your deer issues!

Jim Occi, BugPics
Deer damage to young tree
David Mooter, Prairie Silvics, Inc.

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