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Deer Control

One of the worst enemies of the chestnut growers (there are many of both) is the common white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Boy, they are cute, aren't they. And hungry!

Some prefer leaded control, but when you don't have the time, equipment, or law on your side for such a pasttime, I recommend checking out some of the following options. There are several available for any grower, from the organic to the disgruntled.

A good first place to start your exploration of options is this file, a PDF derived from a presentation given by PA-TACF Treasurer and grower, Tim Eck at the 2005 Spring Growers Meeting in Hershey, PA. (see link below).

The first place many first-time growers turn are plastic tree tubes. After seeing many a good chestnut tree ruined by the use of tall plastic tree shelters, I recommend against their use, particularly with chestnut trees. Short tree shelters are typically fine; I recommend nothing over 2.5-3 feet in height, and would rather see something between 1-2 feet high. Those heights *will not* protect from deer, but can protect from rodent and herbicide damage. The following document expands on the PA Chapter's experience with tree shelters. (see link below for more information on the use of plastic tree tubes).

Perhaps the most effective, although certainly not the cheapest, option of deer control is fencing. Several TACF growers have implemented various types of fencing strategies. (see section on Fencing Options)

PDF, 431.9 kB

Powerpoint Presentation by Tim Eck given at a PA-TACF grower meeting.

PDF, 283.6 kB

The use of plastic tree tubes for seedling protection.