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Dealing with deer [Archive] - Arbor Day Forum

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Ellyssian
10-05-2004, 08:10 PM
I've had numerous problems with deer - often 10 or more at a time, and they seem to prefer browsing things I've planted vs. things that planted themselves.

They've hit the wisteria, the black pussy willow, the chestnut trees (one 4x, and one 3x), the river birch (3x), the sugar maples, the london plane tree (3x) and other assorted things.

A relative offered up a solution that works in Maine, and, thus far, has worked in PA as well... tie a bit of Ivory bar soap onto the branches, and the deer avoid it! Since these are small trees at the moment, I'm protecting them with smaller pieces, some with the wrapper to help them last longer, but the intention is to use a full bar in the waxed wrapper, tied on in Spring. In that way, the bar should last a whole year.

Any other ideas on what works for you (short of hoping that the bear stops eating my birdfeeders and maybe thins the deer herd out)?

pwk16
10-06-2004, 10:41 AM
Everett,
There are countless remedies for deer problems and entire industries set up to combat this problem. If you do a www.google.com search under "deer repellent tree shrub protectors" you'll find most of them. Also, the website www.deerbusters.com is one site which is entirely devoted to this issue.
I've heard of the soap method, but there are also hot-pepper, urine, egg, and other methods out there. We recommend physical barriers such as protective tubes, fencing or electric fencing for our young trees because the small sprouts seem to be a real treat for the deer.
Your local county extension office or state forestry office might also have some suggestions about which methods they prefer.