When to Put Tree Guards on to Protect Against Deer?

Tree guards are barriers that are installed across the base of a tree to protect it in a variety of damaging factors, such as extreme weather and animal feeding. Deer can cause significant harm to your tree which is not protected. Tree guards stop deer from obtaining direct access into the tree, which prevents damage brought on by rubbing antlers and feeding on shoots and leaves.

Indications of Deer Damage

Trampled or broken seedling stems and trunks stripped of bark tend to be indicators of deer damage from dollars rubbing their antlers around the tree to eliminate the layer of dead skin in them. This rubbing removes bark and leaves the layer of timber underneath vulnerable to insects and disease. You may also notice signs of browsing or feeding, such as splintered stems on smaller trees or even the elimination of new buds, with only the previous year’s increase remaining on the tree. Whether this damage results from a deer, it seldom happens above 6 feet in the ground.

When to Put in a Tree Guard

When to set a tree guard on your tree to protect it from deer is dependent on a couple of factors, primarily the presence of deer in your own landscape. If deer are usually wandering into your yard or have induced harm already, the guard ought to be put round the tree instantly. Generally, though, if you reside in a place where deer are frequent visitors or have had damaged landscape plants in the past, a little tree guard ought to be put on when you plant your own tree.


To prevent damage to a tree from male deer, the tree guard on your tree ought to cover the trunk to a height that is slightly taller than the average buck. According to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, the average white-tailed deer dollar is 32 to 34 inches in the shoulder when it reaches adulthood. Some bucks, however, may be up to a foot taller than this. Since the height of a male deer in addition to the antlers broadly varies, you can only estimate an ideal height. Take the ordinary height and add about 18 inches, which gives you a tree guard height of approximately 52 inches, plus a 4- to 5-foot-tall guard. Since the dollar lowers its head to rub the antlers on the tree, a guard of this height should give your tree plenty of protection.

When to Attain the Tree Guard

A tree’s trunk will expand over the duration of the year, and unless the tree guard is made of a flexible material that rises with the tree, it eventually becomes too tight. Replace tree guards yearly to prevent injury to your tree. Make sure the new tree guard is slightly larger in diameter compared to the tree to allow for growth and atmosphere flow. Additionally, there are tree guards made of a plastic mesh which degrades over time. These will need to be replaced when they no longer supply adequate protection for your own tree trunk.


Tree guards are produced from a variety of materials, but sturdy plastic or metal guards will withstand the rubbing of antlers the best. Select a light colored material that reflects the sunlight to stop causing the tree to absorb heat. Leave some room between the trunk and the guard to allow for good air circulation as well. This ensures that moisture does not get trapped beneath the guard, which can result in root and crown rots, and it allows the tree room to develop. Install the bottom of the guard at least 6 to 8 inches into the ground to make certain that it doesn’t get knocked off the tree.

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