Deer Protection for Precious Crops & Trees
Our farm is inter-connected with wild regions in the Bay Area hills that have diverse and prolific wildlife. We appreciate the wildlife and know that they bring health and vitality to the ecology of our farm. We found, however, that the cute browsing deer were predating a bit too much on our fruit trees and vegetable beds.
There are a few different ways to keep deer from eating your crops & trees. What we have found works well for us is deer fencing:
Around our newly planted fruit trees we surrounded each tree with a 6 ft. tall welded-wire circle of fencing. The bottom of each fence circle is held in place with ground staples and bamboo posts. After a few years, when the trees get tall enough and are too woody for the deer to nibble on, we can remove the circle of wire fencing around each tree. This is the wire fencing that we have used: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/red-brand-welded-wire-72-in-x-100-ft
Around our vegetable beds we installed 7.5 ft. tall polypropylene deer fencing. We obtained the deer fencing from Deer Resisting Landscaping and installed it ourselves. We went with the extra-strength Tenax Premium Deer Fencing and it has held up well over the 10 years that we've been using it. Here is where you can purchase all the fence-building materials and learn how to install a strong deer fence: http://www.deerxlandscape.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_main.html?p_catid=8
Another thing to try is surrounding the outside of your entire garden area with a 4 to 5 ft. width of chicken wire laid on the ground. Most times the deer don't like the feel of the chicken wire on their feet and they will back away.
Yet another tactic is to have two shorter fences spaced about 3 ft. apart around the perimeter of an area you want to protect. Deer can jump up to 7 ft. high, but two shorter fences placed adjacent to each other can resist their bold and hungry advances into your garden.
With the deer now kept well-away from your precious crops & trees you can enjoy watching them in their wanderings and appreciate their natural beauty.