Deer are undeniably cute, with their soft brown eyes and velvety skin. They are not so attractive when they are eating the leaves and fruit of your fruit tree, however. While fencing off the tree is the obvious choice to protect your fruit tree from deer, this may not be feasible if you tree is in an awkward location, such as by a driveway or in front of your living room window. Commercial chemical treatments are also not a good idea, as they can render your fruit harvest inedible, and can harm pets. Instead, try protecting your fruit tree with a non-toxic home remedy.
Create a Bad Smell
Ask your local barber for some hair clippings, then visit a garden center and purchase some blood meal.
Sprinkle the hair and blood meal around the tree. Deer hate the odors of both of these things and will give the tree a wide berth once they smell the mixture.
Add a little predator urine (such as wolves) if you really want to make your odor barrier powerfully smelly. You can also purchase this at most garden centers.
Scare the Deer
Hang some tin plates from your tree. The noise and flash of the shiny silver will repel any deer from wanting a taste of the tree.
Place some motion-activated solar lights around the base of the tree. When a deer approaches, the lights will flash on and scare the deer away. Note that this is not as effective on a bright and sunny day.
Plant thorny bushes around the base of your tree to protect it. There are actually some attractive varieties of such plants, such as a barberry bush, which turns a beautiful red color in the fall. Deer do not like to eat very thorny bushes and will avoid your tree.
About this Author
April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.