Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Protect Trees from Deer's Antlers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Protect Trees from Deer's Antlers

Article excerpt

Editor's note: This 2008 column is being reprinted because of continued online interest in this topic.

It is amazing how much buck rub damage trees can survive. Damage that completely encircles the tree's circumference is more deadly than damage up and down.When a tree is damaged around its entire circumference, it is said to be girdled. Girdled trees often die because they can no longer transport water and nutrients.

Avoid the temptation to use a wound dressing -- it can actually interfere with the tree's ability to heal itself. The best practice is to use a sharp knife to cut off jagged pieces of bark around the edge of the wound. If you can trim the wounds into an elliptical or football shape oriented vertically on the trunk, the tree will recover more quickly. Do not dramatically enlarge a wound to accomplish this, though. …

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