Over the years, I’ve seen whitetail deer cause severe, life threatening damage to young trees. Damage to the main trunk of a tree occurs during deer mating season, which is commonly known as “the rut.” I’ve dedicated part of my DEER DAMAGE webpage to this topic, but will share some quick reminders in this blog.
Whitetail bucks scrape the main trunk of trees to mark their territory and remove velvet from their antlers. They seem to prefer those perfect, straight trunks, that are clear of branching for the first few feet, like the shredded Weeping Cherry trunk seen in the photo above.
In western Pennsylvania, we typically see this sort of damage begin in October and last through November. However, a neighbor of ours was surprised when it occurred earlier than that, on a young tree he had planted a couple years earlier. That one encounter ended up killing his tree!
Too soon is definitely better than too late, so here’s a Bobscaping video showing an easy way to make an inexpensive tree trunk guard. We planted a couple new trees this year that will be getting tree trunk guards installed on them soon!