Thu 2 Nov, 2006 07:22 am
We live in a woodland and have a number of trees that have 'rub marks' where the deer have worn the bark off large areas of the trunk. We also have a fairly young maple tree that is not in the woods but which seems to have become a popular scratching post.
I can use a deer repellant to try to convince them to go back to the woods but what should I do, if anything, to help my maple tree heal?
I've no idea JBP!
Just answering, so your post stays 'up there' till someone with the knowledge can reply...
but if you don't get any advice (I'm sure you have googled), maybe you could email these people?
If the tree is badly "ringbarked" you might consider grafting paste or tape over the wound. This may assist to reduce moisture loss, increase sapflow and regeneration of cambium and bark.
Try posting here JPB. These guys will know more about your growing conditions and tree types.
My take is more along the lines of do nothing. water and fertiliser will probably only worsen the situation. We get deer and wallaby damage in some of our plantations but it is not economical for us to actually do anything about it apart from cull the pest animals back to a reasonable amount. If the trees are any sort of size that portion of the tree will have defect wood but there is still plenty of log above this to earn money. If the trees are small they can be form pruned to improve tree form.
As long as the tree isn't girdled (360 degrees of stripped bark) the trees should survive.
In the Delights of Ecology Department:
In Yellowstone Park the rangers were using barbed wire to keep critters out of overgrazed areas. The grizzly bears started using the barbed wire areas as scratching stations. Then the rangers used the barbed wire scratching stations as collection areas for hair samples for a DNA project.
Heheheh, that's funny about the bear hair, noddy.
Yeah, my inclination is to leave the tree alone and do what I can to make it a less desirable post.
dadpad, I checked out that sight and posted my question there as well, thanks.
smorgs (waves), your link reminded me that I'm a member of the Chicago Botanic Gardens and I'm sure I could ask my question over there as well. I just send the membership check in yearly and then don't think much about what services I can get back from it. Thanks for the reminder.
you arboriculturalist you!
there are products that are reportedly made of bobcat urine which are supposed to keep deer away. Maybe your hubby could go out and pee on the maple every couple of days....?
I already do that, littlek. J_B pays me 15 dollars a month to pee on her trees.
It helps her keep the deer away and puts a little beer-drinking money in my pockets.
An arboretum near us used human hair to repel deer. (I suppose you could just ask people to hang around your trees but the smell of human hair alone does the trick
) They would get hair from barbers and stuff it in pantyhose legs and tie the resulting bundles to branches (at deer nose height I guess). That doesn't solve your missing bark problem but might discourage the deer from harming the trees further.
Yeah, I use a product called 'Liquid Fence" as a repellant. It's made from coyote urine (same idea as bobcat urine) and works like a champ. I'd never sprayed the trees in the yard before because they've never rubbed against anything that wasn't in the woods.
I r'cd a couple responses from arborists on the other forum. This is the second guy agreeing with the first.
The main thing is don't overdo it. A thin coat of wound dressing is all that is needed. The biggest problem with those is that when they dry, this coating often cracks around the edges of the wound, which lets moisture in between the wound dressing coating and the tree, which can't dry out. So it rots the tree underneath the wound dressing and becomes a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.
What TRanger said is all that should be done. The tree will attempt to grow over this wound from the edges toward the middle. It will probably take many years, and depending on how large the wound is, the tree may never be able to close it up completely. But this is all you should do.