Deer and Fruit Trees
What is the diameter of a fruit tree trunk (apple/pear) needed to be 'safe' from deer. I'm training the branches out of deer reach, but would like at some point to remove the fencing I have around them. I am concerned that they might strip bark if they can't reach branches.
In general, young trees about 1-4 inches in diameter are vulnerable to deer damage. Deer can severely damage fruit plants by feeding or by rubbing their antlers to remove the velvet. It is difficult to break behavior patterns once they are established.
If deer are a problem in your area, you should leave the fencing on as long as possible as long as the fencing does not damage the trunk. http://extension.umd.edu/growit/wildlife-fruit#deer