Central leader damage need advice !


Active Member
I just noticed that deer have mauled 3 of my apple tree leaders ,where they have emerged from 3 foot tree tubes. They were around 8 - 10 inches above the tubes.
There is no taping or repairing them.
I know,I know ,I should have caged them,but I guess thats water over the dam.I normally dont have this problem. My dogs usually keep the deer on edge in this area.
I have made a cut below damage and above the next bud down.
What else can I do and what do you guys think about future of these trees.
I could kick myself for being so lazy.
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Apples are pretty resilient and if they are small enough to be in tubes that I don't think it will be an issue at all. Just cut down a few buds below the damage this winter (down to good looking wood) and you should be OK.

Then CAGE THEM!! hah
I like wheat better than rye.............................,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.................................just joking........;)

I agree with CAS. I would also recommend screen wire to protect from rodents. I didn't do that at first and got some serious damage. I do the screen wire on all of the fruit trees I plant now.

Good luck Worm..........
It's an early trimming. However, due to the leaves lost in the middle of growing season leading to less photosynthesis, the tree has less much needed food to eat for the rest of the summer, so it does stress the tree. My experience is that young apple trees can survive having their main leader clipped once or so during green leaf season but if you let it happen again it may not survive. I've lost some like that in the past, now I absolutely won't plant a tree without wire right away, it's just not worth the effort. I use 4' wide fencing wire, cut an 11' piece to make a 3' circle around the tree, pound in a steel fence post on each side and tie the wire to posts. Once the tree grows above and beyond the 3' diameter 4' high circle deer browsing won't effect it anymore.
Thanks Mennoniteman and Native . The wheat /rye comment wasnt very helpful. Im teasing also. Very funny !