Illustration of construction of tree guard

Cheap tree guard made with 2m fence posts, stock fencing and chicken wire

Cheap method of creating substantial deer proof tree guard

If you have sheep, deer, wild boar, wild goats or rabbits, then you’ll need to protect your newly planted trees.

This is a cheap method of creating a substantial tree guard, a big thank you to orchardist Martin Hayes for sharing his knowledge.

Stock fencing on coastal farm landscape

Standard UK stock fencing wire, shown beneath the barbed wire

Things to note:

  • Use 2 metre round fence posts, very securely hammered into the ground (30cm should be enough).
  • The stock fencing wire in the UK is sold in 50 metre lengths, and is galvanised and rectangular.
  • Invert the wire so that the smaller rectangles are at the top. This will make it harder for deer to nibble, whilst the rabbits have their own chicken wire tree guard to contend with.
  • Staple the wire on as tight as possible, eg use a crowbar to lever it tight. This prevents the deer from leaning in on the wire.
  • Brace the fence posts at the top with 50mm x 25mm tannelised wood.
  • Use chicken wire mesh (25mm hexagonal gaps) to protect the trunk from rabbits. If you overlap the chicken wire, this will allow you to expand the guard over time as the trunk thickens. Also, if you cut the wire, turn up the “ends” at the bottom to dissuade rabbits from nibbling.
  • The illustration has one side of fencing missing, so you can see how it’s put together. Doh.

Cost in UK

  • 3 x posts about £10
  • 4m x stock fencing about £4
  • Staples and chicken wire
  • Total: £15 approx