pstock
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are my new fruit trees being attacked?

Very strange circumstances.

We (fruit tree novices) planted these two fruit trees (one apple, one pear) this past July (we are in Southern Ontario, Canada).
They didn't have much of a chance to take hold but we are hopeful for growth next year.

Having not looked at them recently, when I walked past today (early December) I was surprised to see some boughs broken off and lying on the ground.
the breaks seem clean and I would have thought "wind storm" but it's not been that windy and these trees are so skinny that I don't think any wind could catch hold.

I suspected animals of some kind (we are in the country here, Zone 4a/b) but there are not obvious nibble marks.
There are however abrasions on the trunk of one tree.

can anyone shed any light on this mystery?
I was thinking of surrounding the trees with heavy chicken wire. If this is normal for new fruit trees, for how long would one leave it up?
many thanks

Peter

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Last edited by pstock on Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ElizabethB
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Hey Peter

My first question is are the varieties suitable for your region? Fruit trees are very region specific. Also most apples and pears are not self polinating and need at least 2 trees. Your pics were not available so I can not comment on tbe damage. Deer rubbing is possible.

Will be back - I want to paste a link for planting and pruning fruit trees. :)
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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ElizabethB
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Ok - this a very comprhensive link for home orchards. You will have to scroll down a bit to find planting and pruning directions. Planting and pruning directions apply to all regions. You have to adjust your timing. Variety recommendations are region specific and will not apply to you.

https://www.lsuagcenter.com/nr/rdonlyres ... ghres2.pdf

Again without pics I can not comment ont the damage.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

DoubleDogFarm
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If you remove this part of the URL /5819680347401263809, I can see albums of bicycles and cyclist.

Eric

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applestar
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If you don't have any trunk guard material on your fruit trees, definitely you will want to put something up before rest of the winter sets in.

In my garden, deer is not a problem, but the bunnies will nibble on any branches within reach, and can girdle the trunk of bark. I protect my trees with short fence around them as well as plastic or HARDWARE CLOTH trunk guard (chicken wire openings are too big and will allow smaller rodents like mice to get at the trunk).

One winter, we had unusually heavy snowfall that lasted for days and weeks, and the snow piled up ABOVE the fence surrounding the trees, allowing them access to my mini orchard area and also allowing the bunnies to reach the upper branches. They also got into the fenced blueberry patch :evil:

If you have deer and other larger antlered species that visit your garden, I believe a trunk guard that is high enough PLUS a larger circle of fence to prevent taller, long necked animals from reaching the tender branches may be needed.

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ElizabethB
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Hmm

A lot of years ago (like 17) I planted some ornamental trees - 5 river birch. I wanted to protect the trunks yet be able to weed eat near them. I found these rubber/plastic sleeves about 12" long with holes in them to allow air flow. Looked good. Spared the trunks and made weed eating real easy. Planted in early spring - 30 gallon container trees planted properly. Looked great all summer and winter and next spring. Late the next summer I noticed some leaf yellowing early falling. Figured my trees were suffering from nutrient defiency since I had put lots of beds around and near the trees. Did not get a soil test done. Just added fertilizer. In October the storms came as in hurricanes. 2 mild ones (cat 1 and 2 back to back). All 5 of my trees snapped at the soil line. OMG I was so distressed and totally clueless. I have a very responsive extension office and the county agent came out to inspect my trees. Snapping at the soil line is NOT normal even with a hurricane. Well guess what - termites had nested between the rubbber sleaves and the tree trunks. Yes they DO eat live wood! Moral of the story is be careful what you wrap your trees with.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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applestar
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Yep. You want to inspect under those guards in spring. Borers are another nastie that might get underneath and do their dastardly deeds where you can't see them. :evil: Hardware cloth is better in that sense.

I tend to be less concerned when I see several spiders nesting inside the plastic tree guards. 8)

Something else that is often done is to whitewash them -- sun can cause freeze thaw cycles that can split the trunk. I was going to do that this fall but it was one of the things that didn't get done... Though I may still have a chance. :bouncey:
Last edited by applestar on Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ElizabethB
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Hardware cloth - good
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

JONA878
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I've found that chicken wire guards are by far the best. They allow you to see whats going on at the trees base and are not so liable to ' strangle ' the tree as some of the plastic guards can do.
We suffer most years to some deer damage .....more from them rubbing off the velvet from their new grown antlers rather than deliberate chewing.
They are not too big a problem on mature trees but can do great damage to young ones where branches are far more delicate.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

pstock
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JONA878
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That has all the hallmarks of a deer rub.
I would suggest you get some anti-canker paint on those wounds.
Especially the ones on the main trunk.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

pstock
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excllent resource

ElizabethB wrote:Ok - this a very comprhensive link for home orchards. You will have to scroll down a bit to find planting and pruning directions. Planting and pruning directions apply to all regions. You have to adjust your timing. Variety recommendations are region specific and will not apply to you.

https://www.lsuagcenter.com/nr/rdonlyres ... ghres2.pdf

Again without pics I can not comment ont the damage.
Wow, that's an extraordinarily info-filled link. I wish I had found that before we planted.

thank you.

(I didn't though find any information on the how and why of protecting the trees.)

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applestar
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Out of all the catalogs I get, I think fedco includes one of the most thoroughly informative free tree planting/care guides. They have it online too:
https://www.fedcoseeds.com/forms/ft35guide.pdf

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ElizabethB
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IDK about deer srapes. They look a little low to the ground for that. Deer or other animals could be nibbling. Do you know anyone who hunts? They often have cameras that they set up to moniter deer traffic near their stands. Maybe you could borrow one. Setting up a camera would help you identify the culprit.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

scotty16
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Deer

That is from a deer. No doubt in my mind, they will usually just pick one tree though. They do it in my orchard from the time they are in velvet and continue through the rut period. Best thing for the trunk is protection but they will still break a few branches. They now make a few products to keep them away, sprays etc. Also I have used Milorganite spread around - they do not like the smell.

You could always use a bow and get free venison!

Good luck!

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