We talk a lot around here about protecting your investment. Our Sales Manager, Adam Crouch, is on this kick to educate landscape architects and homeowners how to protect the landscape they have worked so hard to create. I’m sure he would agree this topic aligns well with the concept so we’re going to spend a few minutes scratching the surface of deer rubbing.
The rut is the mating season of ruminant animals such as deer. There are several behaviors associated with the rut and they typically begin around the time that velvet is shed from the antlers and ends when antlers are shed after the end of the breeding season.
Common behaviors associated with the breeding season (rut) are rubbing and scraping against trees to remove bark which usually occurs starting in early Fall. It is widely accepted that these behaviors are primarily intended to mark territory. Young trees, especially trees with a caliper of less than 4 inches and with smooth bark are highly susceptible; such as Maples, Magnolias and Birch. Can I go out on a limb here and say especially if you live near Charlottesville High School?
We recommend installing tree guards on any tree with a caliper of 4 inches or less planted in areas with high deer pressure. Tree guards are commonly stocked in landscape stores and are easy and quick to install. When is the best time to install tree guards? Right now if you haven’t already. You can purchase tree guards from any local garden store or online. Leave the guard on for the remainder of the winter and remove them in March.