Protection against bunnies and deer in winter

Asked October 27, 2018, 11:38 AM EDT

I have a new 20' tall spruce tree that I planted this fall and a mature 30' black hills spruce. I have a 3/4 acre lot with wooded back yard and lots of bunnies that have eaten the bottom 4' of my arborvitae and are very active in my yard munching everything in sight. The deer have also been active, eating my apple tree bark and lower branches. What would you recommend for me to do this fall in order to minimize critter damage? Should I encircle them with fencing? If so, how high should the fencing be? How big can the spaces between the wire be to keep out bunnies? Or, is it better to wrap with burlap? The mature 30' high black hills spruce is being munched on, on one side, which is the "woods" side, but still full on the other side. I want to make sure the other side isn't attached this winter! Thanks for your help on this.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

The best protection from rabbits is chicken wire fencing placed around your plants and shrubs. 5 foot fencing is the best in the event we get a lot of snowfall. If you have small shrubs the chicken wire will work against deer as well. You will to make a top or cap to place over the top of the fencing. Your larger trees are more difficult to protect from deer. It is possible to put a protective barrier around them. Place posts all around the tree, about 4-5’ apart. Tie a filament or wire from post to post 4.5’ high. When deer go for the tree this will hit them in the chest. They typically do not like this and will stay away from whatever you have it surrounding. Full fencing will not have the same effect as they will jump over it.