deer rubbing

Asked October 29, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

the lower third of the bark on my 1 1/2 inch diameter dogwood sapling (approx. 7 feet tall) has been rubbed away. I'm thinking it's deer. Will the tree survive the winter? Should I wrap that part? Is there anything I can do to help it survive?

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

This is extensive damage from deer rubbing. Unfortunately, this diameter of trunk is just the size they like to rub. To protect trunks, wire mesh or plastic wrap (that expands as the trunk grows) can be used. Larger trunks are not a target.
It may be too late to save this tree, though.
Here is our website info about this:


thanks so much for your very prompt answer.

Do you know:

young deer or older deer doing this?

why saplings?

The deer rubbing is done by mature deer with antlers who are rubbing off the downy velvet covering their new antlers. (There is more about this in website link.)

Why saplings? Don't know. Possibly the springiness of them? Or the small diameter just makes them a handier tool which is easier to maneuver. It can't be easy scraping velvet off the structure of antlers.