The Damage that Deer Do

Imagine my anguish when the other day I walked around the yard and saw strips of bark peeled off the trees due to the damaging effects of the deer. These furry four-legged creatures are so majestic to watch and observe as they scamper through the fields. The problem is our yard isn't a field! You probably remember my post the other day ranting about the damage they did. now you can get a look at it. The first set of pictures is our poor purple leaf plum tree. While I'm upset about its current state I know that it will rebound fine. Purple leaf plum trees grow very fast and since I moved it too a more deer distant location the leaves and branches should rebound. Unfortunately the flowers might not be as impressive next year as I had hoped but it will survive.

Here's where I begin to wonder what will live and what will die. Daddy deer took several swipes at our maple trees, dogwood and Yoshino tree with his antlers of anarchy. As you can see I've managed to wrap them with a rudimentary measure of protection. The black plastic mesh might be all I need to keep the deer from sharpening his antlers on the young trees. Let's hope so! I'm tempted to get some corrugated drainage tubes to wrap around the trees. It may not look so hot but it should prevent the rutting damage from continuing.

My next task is to figure out a way to aid the trees in the healing process. The first step is to trim the rough edges around the wounds. If there were enough of the shaved bark lying around the tree it might be possible to reattach it and tape it down with masking tape. Unfortunately that bark looks more like hamster bedding than bark. I've read that you should avoid adding a dressing on top of the wound so I won't do that but I am tempted to remove some bark from the branches of other maples and essentially graft it to the tree. We have a few silver maples that should make good donor subjects and if I only use bark from the branches and not the main trunk I shouldn't hurt those trees. Perhaps a transplant from a donor tree is in order!

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