Deer, rabbits, mice and voles are just some of the critters that can damage your plants during the cold winter months. A few quick fixes now can prevent costly damage to your landscape.
Deer can do a lot of damage rubbing antlers on young trees. Plastic tree guards are a great solution for young trees and fruit trees too plus they are easy to put on and take off when spring rolls around. For larger trees and other situations a hardware screen fence can be a better option. Be sure to leave enough space between the fencing and the tree to prevent rubbing. Plastic guards also can prevent sun scald damage on trees and other animal damage too.
Screen and Netting
Rabbits have already been gnawing on a couple of my shrubs so be on the lookout for signs of damage and put fencing around these plants too. Netting also can be used to prevent deer and rabbits from getting to plants. Hardware screen works well for smaller critters and can be put below soil level to protect trunks and shrub stems. Finally, be aware of the snow level. As we get more snow the animals can reach higher so check your plants regularly to ensure the barrier is still effective.
Deer pressure can vary year to year depending on the number of deer and the amount of snow we see. Deer are also a bit more challenging to restrict. Physical barriers like fencing work best, but hanging repellent packs can be a deterrent as well. Shake-Away packs work better in colder temperatures when sprays are frozen and granular products get covered by snow.
For more information on preventing winter burn on evergreens visit our post from last week.