How to Protect Tree Seedlings From Deer in Wisconsin


Wisconsin's deer populations were almost hunted to extermination in the 1900s but have since rebounded and become a major problem for homeowners, according to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Deer like to feed on young tree seedlings and can quickly decimate a newly-planted row of trees. Protect your tree crop from deer using a variety of chemical and physical control strategies.

Step 1

Hang bags of nylon stockings filled with a couple handfuls of human hair or single bars of soap on the outer branches of the tree seedlings. Space each bag or bar apart by approximately 3 feet, according to the University of Wisconsin Extension.

Step 2

Spray the tree seedlings with a deer repellent product registered for use on your specific type of tree. Apply the sprays according to their labeled guidelines, since potency varies by product.

Step 3

Keep a dog on a long leash near the seedlings to scare off herds of deer, according to the University of Wisconsin Extension. Employ the use of a gas exploders to make loud noises at regular intervals to frighten off deer.

Step 4

Set up a high-tension, woven-wire fence around the seedlings that's 8 feet tall in the typical design used by Wisconsin's Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program (WDACP).

Things You'll Need

  • Nylon stockings
  • Human hair
  • Bar soap
  • String
  • Deer repellents
  • Fencing


  • "Deer-Resistant Landscaping: Proven Advice and Strategies for Outwitting Deer"; Neil Soderstrom; 2009
  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point: Deer Control Methods
  • University of Wisconsin Extension: Controlling Deer Damage in Wisconsin

Who Can Help

  • Wisconsin Extension Offices
Keywords: Wisconsin deer control, protect Wisconsin seedlings, tree seedling protection

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.