The Buck Stops Where?
You know ‘em and you love ‘em. They’re adorable, beautiful and destructive. Deer. At this time of year, the especially destructive ones are the bucks. The males. No surprise, right? When the hormones are flowing, they care about nothing else but you-know-what: rubbing their antlers on trees. Well, there might be one other thing…
When buck deer rub their antlers on trees, they are doing a few things. First, they are removing the ‘felt’ from their antlers. Each year, male deer produce a new set of antlers, when the antlers have finished growing the outer covering begins to shed. Deer remove this by ‘rubbing’ on trees to hasten the process. Secondly, it is a sign to every doe that he is ready and able. Last but not least, as a signal to other bucks to “Keep Out”: This territory is taken. Unfortunately, the last reason is often mistaken as a challenge by other bucks.
So, what to do? If you have never seen deer in your yard; have never noticed damage to your plants from deer grazing on them, then you may need to take no action. However, that does not guarantee that a buck will not use your specimen Japanese maple as a great opportunity to display his vigor, at your expense.
I suggest you wrap all exposed tree trunks from 1” to 4” in diameter with chicken wire or some type of heavy hardware cloth. This will provide a physical barrier between the antlers and the bark, and hopefully send him elsewhere. Predator scents such as coyote urine can be effective, but deer are wily creatures; they quickly discern between real and artificial threats.
With the ever-increasing list of distractions life has for us, I think it is a ‘big deal’ when people care enough to share their opinion. For the 15th time, the readers of the “Nashville Scene” have voted Bates Nursery and Garden Center, ‘Best of Nashville’! That is impossible without the support of our ever-loyal BatesRewards members, like you.