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deterring deer

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Re: deterring deer

Postby smojo » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:39 am

I also find where I have sycamore and Hazel together, as you have, the sycamore casts a dense shade and few brambles grow underneath. However, the clear ground makes a great place for squirrels to bury nuts, and Hazel can survive the dense shade. Result is under a sycamore you get quite a few new sprouting Hazel plants which can be dug up and relocated as desired.


Yes it's a conundrum, in my sycamore stand the bramble is supressed by the shade but so are most other things. I need to thin the stand by about 30% to allow the stronger ones to expand but that will bring more light in so I need to cut the brambles before they take off big time. There are just a few odd hazels growing in there which should then start to pick up.

Back to the deer protection. I found some plastic netting on ebay that seems quite cheap. Might be worth buying a roll and putting rings of it around the new coppiced stools until they grow away. It's balck so it won't look too unsightly.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby oldclaypaws » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:48 am

The problem I've found with black plastic mesh (I had it round all my Hazels, left by the previous custodians, the council) is as follows;

It seems when you put mesh round, as I tried on some Goat Willow and Ash, the growing shoots lean on the plastic rather than becoming self supporting. Without the mesh, although perhaps nibbled, they grow striaght up and strong, the bending in the wind stimulates them to toughen up and stand upright. With the mesh, they are weaker using the plastic as support and you find when you remove the supporting mesh, the tree shoots just flop down on the ground.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby smojo » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:49 am

Ah, never figured on that. I guess then if putting it round individual plants, to use more mesh and keep it away from the stool. I'm figuring to coppice small areas like 25m square and fence that whole section off. How many years do you reckon you need to protect them for?
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Re: deterring deer

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:20 am

Coppicing just a few stools can be ineffective if there are other close trees overshading the stools. The rate of regrowth of a well lit versus shaded stool is a factor of several times, I've sunny stools which have grown 7 feet in a season, shaded ones that have grown 2 feet in 2 years. Coupes (coppiced sections) are usually quite large to enable the light to get to a max number of stools. If you mean 25m x 25m that should be OK. If well lit and unnibbled, they should grow enough to be above browsing height after one season.
Last edited by oldclaypaws on Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby smojo » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:24 am

Yes 25m x 25m. I intend to thin some of the other trees to improve the light, mainly small sycamore but ironically, a lot of the shade there at the moment is from the overstood hazel itself! the first section is also on a corner of two rides so there should be a reasonable level of light once it's done.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby smojo » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:09 am

Just been reading my excellent new book Coppicing and Coppice Crafts. The section on deer is interesting. They state that if you exclude deer completely you might create a problem with brambles taking over, suggesting that they help keep them down by browsing them! Clearly I don't have enough deer in my woods then? I reckon I'm going to get a roll of plastic deer mesh and fence off an the area that has been depleted of groundcover and where I eventually hope to plant new coppice trees. I've seen it on t'internet for about £85 for 100m roll. That would enclose an area 25m x 25m or 625 sq. m. which would give me a decent area to start on. After a few years of new growth it will probably be safe to take it down and put it up in a new area.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby oldclaypaws » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:24 am

Excellent book, isn't it. The roll of netting sounds a good idea and one I might try myself next time. It should be easy to make a 'gate' in it so you can still pop in and inspect regrowth, which is very satisfying to see. Deer seem to go for the very young shoots up to around 3 ft, taller than that they're not too fussed- doesn't taste as sweet. You shouldn't need the fence up for more than a season, Hazel can grow 6 ft in that time if it has the light. My 2 year old cut Hazel is now an inch thick ! I noticed a small bit of deer grazing on regrowing brambles, but not enough to keep them down. Also not convinced about the efficiency of chemicals on bramble like SBK unless you were to soak the whole mature plant, a squirt on a small area of regrowth doesnt seem particularly effective at the killing the root. Reckon next time I debramble the Canterbury Hoe will be back out to hit the roots, its seems the only way to be sure. I did have a lateral thought of whether you could spray plants you didnt want with something deer found irresistable, like sugar solution.... candied brambles, cleared by obliging deer?
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Re: deterring deer

Postby SimonFisher » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:36 pm

smojo wrote:... £85 for 100m roll. That would enclose an area 25m x 25m or 625 sq. m. which would give me a decent area to start on.

If you want to maximise the area using your 100 metre length of fencing, a circle of diameter 31.8 metres will give an area of just over 795 square metres.
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Re: deterring deer

Postby Andy M » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:02 pm

SimonFisher wrote:
smojo wrote:... £85 for 100m roll. That would enclose an area 25m x 25m or 625 sq. m. which would give me a decent area to start on.

If you want to maximise the area using your 100 metre length of fencing, a circle of diameter 31.8 metres will give an area of just over 795 square metres.


But this makes it more difficult to align subsequent areas
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Re: deterring deer

Postby SimonFisher » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:28 pm

Andy M wrote:
SimonFisher wrote:
smojo wrote:... £85 for 100m roll. That would enclose an area 25m x 25m or 625 sq. m. which would give me a decent area to start on.

If you want to maximise the area using your 100 metre length of fencing, a circle of diameter 31.8 metres will give an area of just over 795 square metres.

But this makes it more difficult to align subsequent areas

Only if they're to be ajacent, which smojo's wording didn't necessarily imply. I was merely pointing out that you gain over 25% more enclosed land for the same perimiter length by using a different shape.
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