Deer eating fruit

Asked July 23, 2018, 10:50 AM EDT

I live in Lutherville, Maryland; In my back yard I have a peach tree and a seckel pear tree; both were heavy with ripening fruit. The morning after the heavy, all night rain on 7/21/18, both trees were picked clean of all the fruit; not a single piece of fruit on the tree and not a single piece of fruit on the ground. All the leaves were undamaged on both trees and only one very thin branch was broken on the Seckel pear tree. Some of the peaches were high on the tree. To gauge the height of the trees, the person in the picture is 5’2” tall. What could have done all this damage? I find no deer droppings anywhere in my back yard.
I also have an Asian pear tree in the front yard that was untouched. I have enclosed it in deer repellent tape as directed on the package. Will the tape help prevent damage to this tree? Is there anything else I can do?
Thank you for any information you can provide me.

Baltimore County Maryland wildlife fruit missing fruit

1 Response

We tend to suspect that squirrels may be the culprit.
Deer wouldn't be so neat. They bite and tear branches. Squirrels would collect and run. Groundhogs can climb trees and eat fruit, but those trees are small and young and likely wouldn't support their weight without branch breakage.
It's possible they don't like Asian Pear, or haven't found them yet, we are not sure.
We also don't know what you mean by "deer repellent tape".

As the tree grows larger there will be more fruit and the loss won't seem so great. Next year you could try bagging the ripening fruit in paper or organza bags to protect them.

Here is our tree fruits page with links to information needed to grow good peaches and pears in Maryland. To get what most consider good fruit, careful management, including well-timed and repeated chemical spray applications are needed for our common disease and pest problems:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/plants/tree-fruits

cm