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I returned from holiday to find my new apple and plum trees completely stripped of their leaves by deer. Does anyone know if they will die now or will they grow again in the Spring. They are very young - only planted last Autumn. Thanks.

A lot depends how much damage the deer have done to the bark.

It seems to be just the leaves that have gone. I'm planning to build some cages round them now. Is that a good idea to prevent further damage? Any tips about how to do this? Thanks.

PS. The trees are very small - only about 1m high.

Gary Hobson

I planted some young pyracantha trees, early in the Spring. Overnight they had most of their foliage removed, and had been reduced to about a third of their height. I was quite surprised because pyracantha is very thony.

All that remained was a few twigs sticking out of the ground.

I had an old wire compost frame, and used it to erect a sort of wire tent over each of the plants. That has protected them, and they've made some decent regrowth...

I intend to reconfigure the frames to make 3-sided vertical cages around each of the plants.

The Doctor

Personally i would recommend a crossbow 


Ha Ha @Doctor_63! I used to think they were cute but I have changed my mind!! They often run in front of my car when I'm driving home at night! I always carefully avoid them!  Hmmmm!


If you look in deer parks young trees are protected by a circle of wire netting secured to a stake.  But you must take into account that deer will stand on their hind legs to get at tasty morsels.

Better to keep them out of the garden.  Perhaps an electric fence.  What do your neighbours do in their gardens?

I'm pleased to report that my trees all have new leaves! I'm delighted and surprised by this. I thought that there would be no new growth until the Spring ( if at all). They are now well protected in wire cages!

I have a similar problem and have solved it by using human hair (collected from my hairdresser!) tied to my trees and bushes in those little net bags that lemon etc come in and it seems to have worked!

Gary Hobson

I've also had some young apple trees in the same area, which were not protected. They've had all their lower branches stripped. Fortunately deer (around here) only graze upto a height of around 1 metre-ish. Any foliage above that height seems to be left alone.

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