Apple trees for deer

Asked April 14, 2016, 8:19 AM EDT

I have property in the Moose Lake area and I am interested in planting apple trees for the wildlife. to attract and hold deer in the area. Can you please recommend the type of apple trees to plant and how many in a area. I have no expectations to eat them for wildlife only. Thank you.

Carlton County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Deer love all types of apples so we can't recommend a best variety however, the smaller dwarf and semi dwarf trees would allow them best access to the apples. Your challenge will be to protect newly planted apple trees long enough for them to become mature and able to withstand the deer. Deer will eat dormant buds causing distorted growth patterns in newly planted trees and bucks can cause severe damage by rubbing their antlers on trees, which can result in broken limbs and girdling of the trunk if the deer removes enough bark. If you just want to attract deer to your landscape, there are other plants they love to eat as well. This publication lists such plants:

Remember that if you attract deer to your property, you may also be attracting predators that feed on them if they exist in your area.
Thank you for contacting Extension