In the fall, deer will nibble the upcomming buds off the apple trees, ruining the tree and the new to be fruits. For tomato cages, I use a medium weight wire fence with approx. 3 inch openings, very flexible. The tomatoes are gone, the deer are browsing. I lay the cages on the ground in a circle around the apple trees.
The deer, not liking the uneven feel of the wire, won't step on it. Plus the fear of getting caught up in the wire keeps them away. If the deer were to get caught in the wire, the small pieces (approx. 4 1/2 feet) wouldn't stay attached for long nor cause serious injury.
I put a bar of Irish Spring and hung it in my apple trees. Drill a hole in it and hang with heavy rope. It's been in my trees for over 3 years now and is still there. The deer NEVER bothered the trees.
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