Deer in the Filbert Orchard

Beautiful, graceful, Deer.  Love to see them, but……

Deer and young filbert trees do not go well together.  Deer love the tender young shoots of the new trees. About this time of year, they step out of the woods, with their new babies by their sides, and teach them to munch on those succulent treats.

A couple of deer can do a lot of damage in just a few nights. When you are beginning a new filbert orchard with 32″ sticks, and the deer munch off the new leaves as they come out, your tree is toast – with honey, so to speak.  So what can you do?  You change the honey to vinegar.

Okay, not literally, but you get the drift.  At the beginning of April, I drive through the orchard, on a John Deere Gator, with a hand sprayer and a 15 gallon spray tank filled with Plantskyyd.  Keep in mind that we are replanting within an existing orchard, so the gator works well for us. If you have a new orchard, you may need to use something a lot bigger. Anyway, I like to get the “stink” on the trees before the deer show up. My theory is that it is easier to stop a habit from forming than it is to break a behavior that has developed.

The first part of April, the leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear – popcorn to the deer.  If they taste bad, they will be less likely to eat them.  Plantskyyd is powdered blood – out of Canada. It is bitter (so they say) and it keeps the deer off.  It sticks for several months. The problem is, the trees are growing very quickly, so the new growth is not covered.  Beginning the middle of May, I will spray the 1, 2 and 3 year old trees that are shorter than 4 1/2 or 5 feet tall, every 7 to 10 days. If a young tree is misshapen for any reason, I hit the side that needs to be growing, just to keep the munchers away.  I will continue this until the first of August.  We have had very good results with Plantskyyd as long as I spray often. If I miss a week, we have damage.  We stop in August since we will be pruning off the growth they are munching.

Plantskyyd is expensive, and spraying so often takes time, but if you have a deer problem it does seem to work very well. NEW NOTE – We have been using Thiram – seems to work well, much less expensive. See label for %.

For more information, please feel free to e-mail Nancy on the contact page.

This entry was posted in Hazelnuts, How To, New Tree Care, Orchard Care and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.