Deer fence

Asked July 24, 2020, 1:29 PM EDT

How do I keep deer away from my fruit trees and bushes w/electric fence tape or rope?

Oceana County Michigan

1 Response

Different types of fencing can protect the trees if it meets these two requirements: It is sturdy and high enough. I am not sure if you are installing one around a piece of property, or just the trees, but the key is to have it as high as you can. The height to totally protect is a minimum of 8 feet, but if you cannot find fencing material that high, you can sometimes extend the height by expanding the posts/stakes higher and stringing additional wiring around the tree at the higher level (also sold on-line as deer extension kits).

Electric is not necessary if the fencing is high enough but some farmers do go for that option. Rope is usually not strong enough-metal and plastic mesh options are better. If you search on-line a bit, you may be able to see some of those options.

If your fruit trees are new plantings/shorter trees and you are going to run some mesh fencing around those, you certainly don't need to have the 8 foot requirement, but deer can still reach into the open top to nibble, so keep the fencing height at least a deer head above the top of the tree.