Do Deer Eat Mulberry Trees?
Deer love eating the new growth. Deer can’t stay away from mulberry leaves, and they’ll go straight to places where volunteer seedlings are growing in large numbers. If volunteer seedlings grow into saplings, they can be hinge cut to provide more food and shelter. It turns out that deer are quite fond of mulberry fruit, and they even eat it! In fact, according to some reports, deer eat up to 30% of the mulberry crop in some areas. So if you’re growing mulberry trees in your garden, keep an eye on them – you never know when they’ll start munching on them! So if you’re looking to keep your mulberry tree deer-free, here are some tips to keep them away. Read on!
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Protecting Mulberries from Deers
Keeping deer away from fruit trees could be a serious problem for people who grow fruit trees. Even though they may not be eating the fruit, the real problem is that they are nibbling on the tender shoots, which hurts the harvest. Deer eating fruit trees is a big problem, especially when the trees are young and the perfect height for a lazy snack. How can you keep deer from eating your fruit trees?
How to Keep Deer from Eating Fruit
Deer eat the young, tender shoots of dwarf and young trees, which are easy to get to because they are small. They also damage trees by rubbing their antlers against them. Fencing is the most reliable way to keep deer from eating fruit trees. Some fencing methods work better than others at keeping deer away from fruit trees.
When deer are doing a lot of damage to trees and aren’t likely to leave anytime soon, fencing is the best way to stop them. Traditional 8-foot (2.5 m) woven wire fences keep deer out. This type of fence comprises two widths of woven wire that are each 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and posts that are 12 feet (3.5 m) tall. Deer will climb under the fence to get tasty food, so securing the wire to the ground is important. Some people find this type of fencing expensive and unattractive, but it is very effective, doesn’t need much maintenance, and will last a long time.
You could also put up an electric fence, which changes the deer’s behavior. Although they could easily jump the fence, the deer eating your fruit trees may crawl under it or go right through it. A quick zap from an electric fence will quickly break this habit and teach the deer to stay 3–4 feet (1 m) away from the wires, so the fruit tree. Think Pavlov. The price of an electric fence is less than that of an 8-foot-tall (2.5-meter-tall) surrounding fence. Some use five lines of high-tensile steel wire, in-line strainers, and high voltage, all very effective. But they need more maintenance and more frequent inspections than a regular 8-footer (2.5 m), and you need to keep a 6–8-foot (2–2.5 m) mowed swath around the perimeter to keep deer from jumping over. You also build a physical barrier around each tree to keep deer from eating the fruit.
If you don’t want to hurt the deer, there are other things you can do to keep them away, so they don’t ruin your orchard. Many deer repellents, including soap, hung from tree branches, can temporarily stop deer from eating. When you see the damage, use repellents. These repellents can be made of bad things, as long as they smell or taste so bad that deer won’t eat them. Some repellents include putrefied meat scraps (called “tankage”), ammonium, bone tar oil, blood meal, and human hair. Hang the bags of these things 20 feet (or 6 meters) apart and 30 inches (or 76 cm) off the ground. Contact repellents that work by taste include rotten eggs, thiram, and hot pepper sauce. They should be used on a dry day when the temperature is above freezing. Some people decide to make their repellents by mixing some of these ingredients with others that they like. There is a lot of disagreement about whether or not these repellents work. People get the best results when they watch the repellents and switch them out regularly. You can buy repellents that have bitter-tasting denatonium saccharide in them. This should be done when the trees are dormant. All repellents have variable results.
Lastly, you can try using guard dogs. The best way to catch a deer is with an untethered dog because the deer are smart enough to figure out that a chained dog can’t do much. They will turn up their noses and push their way in for a bite to eat. If you think it’s good to eat, there’s a good chance deer do, too. There are plants that deer don’t like, but there are no fruit trees they won’t eat. The best way to deter deers is to be watchful and use a variety of deterrents or build an 8-foot-tall (2.5-meter-tall) fence.