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Deer stripped off all the bark from my cherry tree. What should I do? — The Grow Network Community
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Deer stripped off all the bark from my cherry tree. What should I do?

CorneliusCornelius Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

Hello, I discovered this yesterday and am wondering what should I do to try and save the tree? The only thing that I could think of is to apply a comfrey salve (which I have to wait to come in since I don't have any comfrey) and wrap it in grafting tape. The only bright side is that the graft is under the damage by a few inches. Any advice is appreciated.

Comments

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,084 admin

    My sympathies @Cornelius! Wildlife can be so destructive to all our hard work.

    I'm afraid I can't offer any assistance on what to do after the fact, but for next time a good preventative is to put a cage of chicken wire around the trunks for your new trees. Or an electric fence around your orchard. If you have deer, you will likely have bears when your trees are big enough to produce fruit. An electric fence is the answer.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 371 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Thank you @torey. I fortunately have not seen any bears to date. I was using cayenne pepper powder (on the leaves) and urine (in the yard), but the rain washed both away faster than I realized. I will look into your tips. Thanks again.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 581 ✭✭✭✭

    I wish I had known this earlier! Thanks for the detailed description @LaurieLovesLearning. It makes grafting and saving a tree seem do-able.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Thank you so much. I am not sure if the bark is completely severed or if the area is still attached, but very small. I also wanted to ask if the bark has to be making contact with the inner wood of the trunk or if the cambian layer is still on the bark if the bark was not severed from the rest of the bark? Would it be possible to root the above section if I cut if off (with rooting hormone) or would it not survive as I have nothing to graft it to?

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    Those specifics, I am not sure about. I would imagine that it would need the protection of the outer bark, but I don't know for sure.

    The top looks very large to try to root. You could try it, though, as you have nothing to lose. Usually you root the top portion of a young twig.

    If you have any willow, you could try rooting it in willow water as the hormone.

    Did I answer your questions? I feel as though I might be missing something.

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    @LaurieLovesLearning grafting is how my mother saved our apple trees after the 'possum girdled them. It's a great skill. I've never had to do it, but I'm planning on doing some apple grafts in a few years.

    did you use wax or parafilm M?

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    It is a great skill!

    I have never grafted, just watched many videos. Some were part of TGN Summits. I don't know which would be better to use, and I wonder if it depends on the type of graft, of what tree, and of course, preference.

    I have heard good things about the parafilm.

    Grafting doesn't look difficult. I would like to try a few styles one day and see what I prefer. My husband wants to as well.

    My husband's grandfather grafted often. I was told that he had a well producing, large orchard.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Thank you again and yes you answered my question. Unfortunate the deer came back before I could fence of the trees and now it has made more victims. On the bright side I now have a bunch of willow cuttings (and an ax to grind). :(

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    @Cornelius I hope that you can make something good come out of the destruction. I almost list all of our raspberries & nanking cherries to rabbits over a number of years. Over time (and with one less rabbit) they overcame all the harm done to them.

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    @cornelius how do you feel about venison?

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin
    edited September 2020

    @Ferg 😬 That can sometimes be a loaded question. Oops, no pun intended. 😆

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    @LaurieLovesLearning Bow season is coming...

    A friend of the family had a strawberry farm in WI. The deer herd was getting really big and not culled enough, not enough natural predators. One year she lost a large chunk of her crop -- and therefore income. The state gave her a yearlong permit to 'cull'.

    And rabbit can be tasty as well... where are those emoticons when needed....

  • marcy_northlightsfarmmarcy_northlightsfarm Posts: 103 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    I had a tree that I found girdled in early spring. I was so sad. The tree was girdled down low by mice or rabbits, it was my pollinator tree (Golden Delicious) for several other trees in my orchard. I found this damage very early in the Spring almost a month before buds would begin to break, or leaf out.

    This is what I did: I cut a bunch of twigs off and wrapped them in plastic and kept them in the refrigerator until the buds started to break on my apple trees. Since I had never grafted before I reviewed some grafting videos. I made ten grafts, four on a nearby tree that I had heavily pruned, five on a plum tree and one below the girdled part of the Golden Delicious that had been girdled. It took almost 8 weeks, but one graft finally began to grow. It was on my heavily pruned tree. I was so happy!

    @Cornelius because of the time of year the best graft to try and save your tree is the bud graft. This graft can be preformed between July and September. Here is how it's done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rhb8QBfjws

    Good Luck!

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 760 admin

    Domestic rabbit is actually awesome -- Marjory cooked one of her rabbits for the team one time and it was just super mild and tender. You just have to get over the fact that it sort of still has the shape of a cute little bunny in the pot.... 😯

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    @Merin Porter Christmas Dinner in Germany with my "Doktormutter" was roast rabbit. You have to be kind to the small creatures when cooking though, it's disrespectful (and wasteful) to overcook them. And guinea pig has saved many a family in tough times.

    oh crud. Thread creep. sorry.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

    @Ferg I have never tried venison, but because I live in a neighbor hood I unfortunately can't hunt them here (I have thought about it though). :(

    @marcy_northlightsfarm I think I waited too long on the first tree and there wasn't any branch to cut off as this was it's first summer in the ground and the deer kept eating the new growth. I thought I had finally gotten ride of them, but alas I was mistaken.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 686 ✭✭✭✭

    Grafting successfully is harder than it looks in the videos. I grafted half a dozen or so small branches from one apple tree to another (across three apple trees and a crab apple) early this season, and not a single one "took" and survived.

    Clearly I need more practice at this.

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