How To Keep Deer Away From Eating Your Apple Trees

Do deer eat apple trees? Well, sort of. They will eat the young tender shoots. Especially on young apple trees. So how do you keep deer away from apple trees? Read on…

A number of years ago I planted two young apple trees (McIntosh and Honeycrisp). Living in ‘deer country’ I took a few precautions to deter them from eating the green shoots and damaging or destroying my efforts.

By the way, planting fruit bearing trees is an excellent proactive action for preparedness sake!

Here’s what I did, and lets hear your own recommendations too about keeping deer from eating your trees:

How to keep deer away from apple trees

1. Assemble a fence around the young tree as a deer deterrent perimeter.

2. Hang a deer deterrent scent around the fence.

It worked pretty well.

Keep Deer Away With A Fence Around The Tree

The fence is an ordinary welded-wire fence (Home Depot) which is supported by two T-posts. You might use 3 posts depending on the overall perimeter / diameter of fence.

My fence at the time measured about 15 feet in length. The circumference provided several feet of clearance around the apple tree. The diameter of the fence circle is just about 5 feet. The welded wire fence itself is 5 feet tall.


Keep Deer Away By Using Deterrent Scent

Apparently, deer do not like the scent of Irish Spring soap!

So I cut up several bars into pieces which I slipped into several pairs of women’s ‘knee socks’ (I had Mrs.J purchase those ;) ).

I then hung the Irish Spring soap-filled socks around the fence. Actually I only dropped 3 or 4 chunks (slices) of soap into each sock.

>> Irish Spring Deodorant Soap Original Scent
(view on amzn)

(my ‘Irish Spring’ work station)

Additional Ways to Keep Deer Away from Eating Young Trees

A few added ways to keep deer from nibbling on your trees (updated from the comments below)…

  • The forestry uses white paper folded in half and stapled around the tips of the top branches of their seedling trees so deer stay away. It works.
  • Ask your barber for hair clippings. Stuff in old nylon stockings and hang from the tree branches. This works well.
  • Urinal Cakes. You won’t need the Fencing just tie one or two in the tree with the same method Ken uses.
  • 125 lb Rottweiler and nothing comes around.
  • Motion activated sprinklers work great.
  • I put t-posts around my mini orchard and then strung clear 30lb test fishing line around the orchard (4 levels). The deer can’t see the line (especially at night). Result…deer walk into it and freak out because it is basically invisible to them.
  • I put an old radio in a garbage can on its side on an all night talk radio station. This is the second year and so far it works.

>> Urinal Cakes

>> Motion Activated Sprinklers for Animal Deterrence
(view on amzn)

 What about you? Any deer deterrent tips for apple trees or other such similar situation?