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Deer Repellents

There are some cheaper options for keeping deer off of your chestnut trees, one of which is using deer repellents. Here is a fantastic website from the Walnut Council that covers the testing of several repellent types: Deer Repellent Study from the Walnut Council. In addition, the Reforestation, Nurseries and Genetic Resources (RNGR) team, a collaborative through the USFS, produced a test of several repellents, the results of which they published in the Winter 2002 issue of "Forestry Nursery Notes" (Thanks to Tim Phelps for this link).

TACF growers have had good experience with a homemade egg spray as well as with latex-based repellents. Egg sprays may be applied with backpack or other automatic sprayers as long as the mixture is prepared properly and the equipment is cleaned well following application. Latex based repellents will clog equipment. Many growers prefer to use disposable spray applicators to apply these types of repellents. A couple of repellents that are preferred by our growers are Bitrex, which is found in Tree Guard, and PlantSkydd. All repellents require multiple applications to be effective.

Egg Spray: I have heard numerous growers sing the praises of this method. It works well -- AS LONG AS YOU PERSERVERE IN ITS APPLICATION. On slip-up and *ding ding ding* it's dinnertime. During the summer, you should apply the mixture once every two weeks, as well as after any rainfall event. The method is described in detail by TACF member Chandis Klinger in his article titled, "Protecting Young Plants with Brush and Eggs". The article is in volume 7, issue 1 of the journal (Fall/Winter 1992), and is available for download from TACF's website: http://www.acf.org/journal.htm.

Garlic Pencils; Garlic Oil Dispensers: Available from Gemplers.
I've heard mixed reviews on these. They may work in areas with very low deer pressure, but under high pressure, they appear to be merely a physical barrier. As I heard one person say about their experience with this product, "Clothespins would have been cheaper and just as effective".