Deer tree damage

Asked February 11, 2019, 10:11 PM EST

Hi, the deep snow has deer really wreaking havoc on my pine trees. Over the last 5 years I’ve planted smaller trees on our property. White and red pines along with Norway spruce, white spruce, black hill spruce. I knew the white pines would be candy for the deer so I fenced them in. I thought the rest would be safe but I was wrong. They’ve hit about 30 of them. I’m not sure what to do. I have one white pine pictured about 15’ tall. They cleaned off the bottom 5’ do I trim the bottom branches they cleaned off or leave them? Will it recover? Also wondering about the spruce pictured? Finally, have multiple spruces and red pines that have every or nearly ever tip nipped off including leader. Do they have a chance? Sorry for long list of questions. But I’m kinda frustrated. I have now fenced EVERYTHING in. Thanks! -Wes

Crow Wing County Minnesota

1 Response

Deer will eat anything if they are hungry enough. Something you have experience with and it is heartbreaking. I would clean up the broken ends. I would prune for esthetics, don’t take off more than you need to. The trees should make a new double leader. Once the new leaders are about 8-10 inches long trim the weaker one off. People have had success using two monofilament lines 5 feet apart about 5 feet all or chest high on a deer. A double ring of an invisible line seems to spook them. And it keeps on scaring them unlike human hair, coyote urine, Irish spring soap etc. one can only wait and see if the trees survive but it is probable that they will.