Protecting young fruit trees

Fri. Sep. 28, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Protecting young fruit trees

Harvesting ‘Honeycrisp’ apples from your backyard is a slice of heaven here on Earth!  But the bunnies love their bark.  Young fruit trees are especially vulnerable to rabbits.  Trees that are 3 years old and younger.

Apple ‘Honeycrisp’ ripe photo by GardenBite

Protect those trees this winter with a simple solution.  The plastic white spiral guard.  Google tree guard and there are a multitude!

white spiral tree guard

This prevents rabbits and voles from getting to your bark and the white reflects the suns rays keeping the tree from heating up.  If the bark temps get above freezing, the liquid inside will start to flow, then when it gets dark or the sun gets behind a cloud, it freezes quickly damaging the tree.

Make sure the tree guards are not tight around the trunk and sink them into the soil about 2 inches.  Keep in mind that as the snow piles up, the rabbits reach extends too.  Keep an eye out during the winter months to detect any damage.

There’s the electrified fence method!  In a former home, on acreage, we were able to do that… it helped with rabbits and deer but the squirrels still took/take bites out of the apples!

You can always try the heavily scented deodorant soap method, Irish Spring seems to be everyone’s choice.  Some people swear by the hot sauce method.  Some swear at it.  But anything’s worth a try.  You can make your own hot sauce or try the products already on the market, such as ‘Tree Guard, Hot Wax pepper or Ropel.  There’s one for deer called Not tonight Deer, Get away.  I may have to try that one just for the name!  Once your fruit tree has rough, flaky mature bark, the winter sun nor critters can harm it.  But for the first few years, keep the trunks protected.