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Wildlife Plantings

If you are planting trees for wildlife, this means that your main goal is to entice wildlife, usually deer, into a specific area. The fruits used for this purpose are usually apple and pear because these are hard fruits that remain palatable to deer for longer periods than, for example, peaches. Trees that are planted for wildlife tend to receive significantly less care than orchard or garden trees, and should therefore be hardy enough to tolerate a degree of neglect. You can choose your own trees, or shop our wildlife recommendations, including wildlife apples and wildlife pears.

Either way, if you are planting for wildlife, please consider the following factors when shopping for trees.

  1. Tree size. We recommend that you do not plant dwarf trees for wildlife. These trees will not be strong enough to stand up to hungry deer. Semi-dwarf, semi-standard, half standard, and standard trees are all suitable for wildlife planting. 
  2. Wildlife plantings are almost never sprayed for disease and insects. Therefore we recommend that only disease-resistant trees are used for this purpose – see our disease-resistant apples.
  3.  Because wildlife growers may wish for fruit to be present at a particular time of the year, the ripening time of the variety should be considered. The most common request is for late-ripening fruit that hangs well on the tree rather than dropping quickly. 
  4. Most apples and pears need to be pollinated by another tree of a different variety in order to produce fruit. Make sure to check the fertility requirements of each variety you purchase by clicking on the variety and scrolling down to the pollination section.
  5. Even though you might be growing fruit specifically for deer to eat, you will still need to protect the tree from deer and rodents until it is strong enough to survive their attentions. We do not recommend growing tubes, as these cause low branching. The best protection against deer will be a tree cage. 

Finally, wildlife plantings will still need basic care. These trees need regular water, and they will not remain productive without annual pruning.