Regular readers of this blog may remember that I bought a crabapple tree late in the winter and planted it in our front yard. It arrived as a bare stick (dormant) and for a while this spring we were beginning to wonder if it was really alive. Then, finally, hurray! A nice flush of tender new leaves popped out and we knew it was alive and growing. More and more leaves started to pop out and I was so excited!
Then one morning I got up and all those pretty new leaves were gone--had just disappeared overnight. We'd been seeing a couple of young deer hanging out in our neighbors' yards and I couldn't think of anything else that would have stripped the leaves from a waist high tree like that. I was upset, but I could see new little buds further down the stem getting ready to open. And open they did! Another flush of leaves opened up and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Until about a week later. The same thing happened--all the new growth disappeared overnight.
This has happened three or four times now. Every time the little tree struggles to put out a few new leaves, they promptly disappear. I read somewhere that apple tree foliage is a favorite among deer. What on earth am I going to do? I don't think the little tree will continue to survive if it can't keep leaves for photosynthesis.
I wish I could think of a solution. I'm considering putting some kind of wire cage around it or some netting over it, but of course that's going to look ugly as hell in the front yard! If anyone reading this has any suggestions to deter hungry young deer (that won't look too ridiculous) please share them with me!
The ironic part of all this is that part of the reason we decided on a crabapple tree in the first place is so that the fruit could one day be food for the local wildlife! At the rate things are going, those deer will never see an actual crabapple...and neither will we!
Centurion Crabapple Tree