CAN TREES DEFEND THEMSELVES AGAINST DEER?
Our forests start to wake up during the Spring Season because warmer weather is upon us. This time of year is for growing new buds that eventually grow into branches for new leaves. These buds store the energy over the winter for the trees to grow more leaves in the spring. This process helps the tree to produce as many leaves as possible to help initiate photosynthesis and carbon assimilation for growth. Unfortunately, the deer are tempted to eat these buds to replenish their nutrients that were lost over the winter.
You would think that since trees are sedentary, they would not be able to defend themselves against the deer. Scientists have found that is not the case here. Trees like Sycamore and Beech trees use chemical warfare to ward off the deer. Studies show that insects stimulate the trees to produce the chemicals to ward off the deer from feeding. Putting deer saliva on after clipping the buds produce a chemical salicylic acid and tannins which make the leaves and buds very distasteful and difficult to digest in the deer.
Don’t be fooled – trees are much smarter than we give them credit for – they know how to fight back against the deer.