How to Grow Apple Trees for Deer


Apple trees are delicious for more than people and squirrels. Deer and horses are also attracted to the foliage and juicy fruit of these lovely trees. For those desiring to attract deer to their yards, an apple tree is a surefire way of enjoying these beautiful animals.

Step 1

Stratify the seeds. Fill the mug half way with moist peat moss and place the seeds inside the mug. Cover the seeds with more moist peat moss. Place the mug in the refrigerator for at least 10 weeks. This allows the seeds to stratify.

Step 2

Germinate the seeds. Fill a small terra cotta pot with potting soil and press the seeds into the soil roughly one inch down. Four seeds may be placed in each pot, so long as they are spaced at least one-half inch away from each other and the sides of the pot. Cover the seeds with soil and add water so that the soil is completely moist. Cover the pot with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place until they sprout. Place the sprouts near a window once they have leaves.

Step 3

Separate the trees. Separate the trees into individual small terra cotta pots once they are three inches tall. Keep them indoors and in a sunny location until they are twelve inches tall, at which time they can be transplanted outdoors.

Step 4

Plant the tree. Select a location for the tree that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight and has well draining soil. Dig a hole roughly three times the diameter of the root ball and slightly deeper. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain completely. Place the tree's root ball carefully into the hole and fill the hole with soil, leaving a three-inch deep tree well with a radius of one foot from the tree.

Step 5

Nourish the tree. Fertilize the apple tree yearly beginning in its second growing season using a fruit tree fertilizer. Be sure to carefully read the manufacturer's directions with regard to amounts and dilution to avoid burning the tree roots.

Step 6

Protect the tree from impatient deer. Install a fence around the tree until it grows to a height of six feet. The fence can be constructed of chicken wire or plastic meshing. If you are using chicken wire, be sure to tie some red ribbon around the fence so that passing deer will not crash into the fence and knock it over.

Step 7

Guard the trunk. After the tree has matured, install a tree guard around the trunk to a height of six feet. The tree guard will prevent a male deer's antler's from damaging the tree with its antlers by knocking off its bark.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple seeds
  • Peat moss
  • Mug
  • Small terra cotta pot
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer
  • Fencing
  • Red ribbon
  • Tree guard


  • "The Apple Grower: Guide for the Organic Orchardist"; Michael Phillips; 2005
  • "Methods for Germinating Seeds of Some Fruit Species with Special Reference to Growing Seedlings for Immature Embryos"; Calvin S. Smith; 1969
Keywords: deer trees, apples for deer, trees for attracting wildlife

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.