This time of year, it is common to find damage on trees caused by “buck rubbing”, which is a behavior that male deer engage in for the purpose of marking their territory and attracting female mates. They are also known to simulate battle with trees as practice for real-life defense situations. Regardless of why bucks rub their antlers on trees, the outcome is usually a damaged tree. If your landscaping trees are subjected to this type of wildlife interference each spring, it is time for you to learn how to put a stop to it for good.
Continue reading to learn how you can protect your new and young trees from future buck damage.
Basics of Buck Rubbing
When bucks rub their antlers on young trees, the repetition of the act causes the thin, vulnerable bark of the tree to peel off. When peeling occurs around the entire tree, it can be described as “girdling.” See our blog, “How to Put a Stop to Vole Girdling” to learn more about this tree-damaging nuisance wildlife behavior.
Fortunately, trees are resilient, and in most cases, can easily come back from buck damage. However, the best practice is to protect trees from such damage to begin with. There are various ways you can approach this solution, most of which include the use of tools and supplies. Two tools to consider adding to your work shed inventory include a sharp grafting knife and some tree pruning shears.
Caring for Buck Damaged Trees:
🌳🦌 Clean up the wounds on the tree bark using your grafting knife. Focus on just cutting off jagged pieces of bark around the edge of the wound. Try to make vertical, oval-like shapes out of the wounds for faster healing.
🌳🦌 Have your trees pruned where branches are severely damaged. Tree pruning is a complex practice that should be carried out by a trained professional according to ANSI tree pruning standards.
🌳🦌 Be sure to irrigate during hot, dry periods of the summer. This will protect the damaged tree from added stress, which in turn, promotes quicker, completer healing.
🌳🦌 Implement pest and insect control treatments for your young and newly-planted trees to prevent added stress or health complications.
🌳🦌 For all other trees in the future seasons, build a fence around them to cut off access from bucks. A 6-foot welded wire mesh barrier supported by an 8 foot rebar inserted into the ground in even intervals around the tree is a common practice.
Indianapolis Tree Service You Can Trust
Call Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for experienced tree service in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. We offer a wide range of residential and commercial tree services, including tree removal, tree trimming, stump grinding, stump removal, lot clearing, and more. If you want professional and efficient service you can trust, Complete Tree Care is the right call!