I don’t know about your property, but at my house, and at our client’s houses, the deer have done lots of trunk damage. Rubbing of antlers on the trunk of the tree causes great harm to the tree. When the bark is rubbed off, and the trunk is heavily scraped, this disrupts the trees ability to move nutrients up from the roots and down from the leaves.
Well, that’s all nice to know, but what can one do about this type of problem?
Prior to damage, one can protect the trees. Using stakes and wire fencing is pretty unattractive but likely the best solution. Deer “netting”, a plastic mesh, can be used with stakes also, and is a little less “industrial”. These fences do make it difficult to check the emitters at the tree, clean the base of the tree, etc, but they do seem to work.
Once the trunk has been damaged, there are some options. Best one is a “trunk wrap.” The wrap primarily protects the trunk from the sun, and may help to minimize drying and insect entry. Most experts don’t like the “paint” method and prefer to allow the tree to harden off on it’s own. Then protect the tree as mentioned above to prevent further damage.
We love to see the wildlife but don’t like the damage. Until next time.
JC – Prescott Landscape Professionals