Deer-Deterence

Visit last fall from a  4-point buck
Visit last fall from a 4-point buck

I’ve created a new art form born of functionality and a tendency towards the use of metal as an art form.

Last year, I created a piece I call ‘Deer-Deterence’. It consists simply of two pieces of four-foot rebaror pipe and some barbed wire.

Deer Deterence:  Pipe and barbed wire
Deer Deterence: Pipe and barbed wireI
Rebar and barbed wire protecting a previously damaged Western redbud (Cercocarpis canadensis).
Rebar and barbed wire protecting a previously damaged Western redbud (Cercocarpis canadensis).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I intended it to protect my Western redbud, but it was after-the-fact as the local buck got to the lower limbs before I figured it need protecting. The bucks use small trees to rub the velvet from their antlers. Around here, the process begins around September. Native trees fall victim too; I have found alders badly gouged with ragged strings of bark hanging from their trunks. My pyrocantha shrubs along the driveway were badly mauled, and a beautiful dark blue flowered ceanothus lost several large limbs.

Taking a page from the Bloedel Reserve, which uses two metal fence posts driven into the ground at an angle to protect tree trunks, I’ve employed materials that I have on hand, namely rebar,  steel pipe, and barbed wire.  In some instances, I’ve also wrapped pieces of woven wire fencing around the trunks of larger trees. In other cases, I’ve placed a single pipe at angle.

metal pipe protecting Ceonothus 'Dark Star' which lost a large limb to antler damage last fall.
metal pipe protecting Ceonothus ‘Dark Star’ which lost a large limb to antler damage last fall.

Time will tell which will work the best, or if I will need to default to more extensive fencing measures. As of today, October 14, I’ve seen no evidence of fresh buck damage anywhere, although a summer herd of  four does continue to hang out around the gardens.