Deer Management

deerdamageThere are multiple ways to keep the deer off your newly planted orchard, such as fencing, electric fencing, deer repellents, ultrasonic devices, etc. If you want to learn more about "reducing deer damage" at home and on the farm, check out Clemson University's publication: "Reducing Deer Damage" by Candance Cummings and Greg K. Yarrow, CU Extension Wildlife Program.

At the Musser Fruit Research Farm, we use soap on newly planted trees to keep the deer away. The more fragrent the soap the better; deer cannot stand the smell of parfume. Simply drill a hole in the (still wrapped) soap bar and tie it to a tree. Attach one bar to EACH tree. The soap lasts about 3 months.  We use Cashmere Bouquet, one half oz. bars, which we order from Greenville Paper Co., 800-755-4472. One case (1000 bars) was $70 in 2009.

Another way to repell deer (used by USDA Scientists in Byron, GA) is to wrap some tape around the perimeter of the orchard using metal poles and then spray deer repellent on the tape. The tape will make the repellent stick longer and applications only need to be done every three months or so. That is only practical for small research plots, however, or a small orchard of a homeowner. White Ribbon Tape (3/4" x 1,320'; item RBW-132) and repellent (Plotsaver Deer Repellent; item PS-C-032) can be ordered at Messina Wildlife Management (www.stopanimaldamage.com).