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Q. I have a young buck deer rubbing against three year old cherry trees. Two trees already have bark ripped. Would wrapping the trees with the paper tape for winter care help keep down the rubbing or would he simply break the trees with his one small antler? We no longer have a dog and fencing will have to wait until next year as we have 5 acres.

A. That is a rough call. I would support the taping as you have nothing to lose. I do not foresee the deer breaking the trunks simply because you tape the bark as if he is going to ram it he will taped or not.

Why not construct a wide circle of chicken wire around each tree? Make it so that the deer cannot reach the trunks and it would not require much work or expense. Or maybe the SPCA has a nice doggie looking for a new home?

Best of luck. Deer are such a problem with gardeners and no one has a single foolproof deterrent.

Q. What flowers can I plant that the deer would not devour?

A. It's official - this is the most frequently asked question [including pests as rabbits] in my inbox for the year 2001!

Usually planting flowers that deer tend to avoid is a good strategy for preventing damage in your garden.  The problem is that quite often the deer attack our gardens when circumstances are not normal.  If new construction and forest reduction has displaced populations of deer or if weather conditions have caused a shortage of natural food sources deer will eat whatever they can find since they are hungry. Keep in mind that these are flowers which deer normally avoid and planting them isn't a foolproof deterrent!

Recommendations but not sure things:

Bee Balm
Bleeding Heart
Gloriosa Daisy
Grape hyacinth
Mariposa lily
Moss Pink
Mountain harebell
Pearly everlasting
Pincushion flower
Purple Coneflower

The book 'Deerproofing Your Yard and Garden' by Rhonda Massingham Hart has more information about creating a deer-proof landscape as well as information about homemade and commercial repellents.

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