Don't Hire the Deer

April 10, 2016

Don't hire the deer for what?1? It's spring enough for pruning the orchard trees. We are thankful this year to be able to complete so early but also not to be on snowshoes as we have been some years. As I got to the apples, I found that despite egg spray deer had been before us some time during the winter. Deer are bad pruners! That's why a plan must be in place to keep them out or you will end up "hiring the deer".


Over the last several years, we have been pruning the pear and apples to lift them higher out of deer reach. Only a couple shoots were browsed on the pear compared to many on the apples with branches still lower. Some of the apples are behind electric fence but two are not. The apple and pear trees remain their favorite although deer occasionally take a nibble at the plums and even the blueberries.


In order to lessen the job in the spring when things are so busy, we prune the grapes and blueberries in the fall. We can do this with our blues since they are wild bushes and more hardy. It's not recommended for cultivated varieties. Blueberries brings up the corollary to "Don't Hire the Deer" and that is "Birds are Poor Harvesters!". More about that in another post later this summer...


Here is a photo showing before (left) and after (right) of grape pruning.




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