Protecting Small Trees from Deer and Other Wildlife | Boulder Hill Tree and Excavating

Protecting Small Trees from Deer and Other Wildlife

Protecting Small Trees from Deer and Other Wildlife

Spring has sprung in New Jersey, and we are preparing for all of our wildlife to make a comeback. As trees are reinvigorated with life, it’s also probably time to think about those smaller trees that need a little extra help to grow. This spring, take a weekend to better protect your smaller trees from wildlife like deer and rabbits.

How Does Wildlife Damage Trees?

It’s very natural for wildlife to use trees to their advantage, and most mature and healthy trees can handle it. Deer rub their antlers on the bark to polish them, and they can even munch on some of the branches or leaves. Rabbits are guilty of something similar called girdling. They munch on the bark, and since they are so much smaller, they typically eat the bark around the base of the tree. Normally, for a more mature tree, this isn’t such a big problem, but for newer or smaller trees, the extra stress can cause trees to die. Luckily, there are some ways you can protect your smaller trees.

Minimize Habitats That Attract Animals

Bunnies, for example, prefer to make their homes in more dense areas or plants and trees in order to protect themselves. If possible, you can remove excess vegetation around some of your smaller trees, and this should make the area less attractive to small animals.

DIY Fence

One of the most surefire ways to protect your smaller trees is by creating a fence to surround each one. Planting fences can be a DIY project that you can knock out over the course of one weekend.

For DIY fencing, you’ll need something to wrap around the base of the tree, which could include chicken wire, pipes, or any other material that can withstand the force of some antlers. Chicken wire is an easy option which can be wrapped up the tree as far as the first branch. Use a few zip ties to secure the chicken wire in place, and check on your DIY fence in a few days to make sure it’s still in place.


You could also combine fencing with various kinds of repellent. Usually, repellents aren’t harmful to the animals; they tend to have an undesirable taste or smell. There are many deer or rabbit repellents available online and within home improvement stores. If your smaller trees are near your garden, be sure not to contaminate the garden with the repellent, especially if the items being grown are meant for consumption.

There are a number of ways that you can prevent deer or other animals from causing problems for your smaller trees. If the issues progress, feel free to give us a call at Boulder Hill Tree Service. Tree maintenance is one of our specialties, and we’d be happy to ensure your trees are as happy and healthy as possible at all times.