Orchard or Deer Snack

Last summer I put in the beginnings of an orchard.  We planted, weeded, mowed, tended and worked to get those trees and grapes and berries to grow.  Of course, the goats eating vigorously pruning them in the fall was a setback, but I was hopeful most of the plants would survive.  Then about a week ago, I noticed visitors.

I tried to convince myself that the deer were just hanging out in the orchard because it was the first area to lose the snow.  Really.  We kept it mowed which allowed it to melt faster.   I just kept telling myself that.

You can see, the orchard was melted off before anywhere else, so my theory makes sense.  Every day for about five days, I watched the hills turn brown and watched the deer lounging and eating in the orchard.

Finally, I decided that I had to go check it out.  I was still sticking with my theory, but I had to see if I had anything left up there.  I got the Ranger out and drug Mom along for the ride.

We made it–I wasn’t sure we were going to get through the mud, but we made it!  I could not see any evidence that they had touched any of the berries or the grapes.  The trees still had their lovely white trunk guards on them, but they were not completely spared.

The poor little apple tree above was the worst victim.  I’m not sure it will be able to recover.

To try and help, I added a bunch of deer repellent sachets on each tree and throughout the grapes.  I was planning on doing that last fall, but somehow it didn’t happen.

I might have to do some more research on how to protect my little fruit trees.  Any suggestions?

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