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Planting Apple Trees

Back To "Ask The Biologist?"Are apples a good food source for deer?

QUESTION: My son and I hunt a lease in north central Texas that currently doesn't have apple trees. It's approximately 2,700 acres with 10 pastures, but we only hunt on two of them.

Planting Apple TreesI recently planted two apple trees about 50 yards apart and next to a couple of small water ponds and in close proximity of my feeder.

My question is, are apples a good food source for deer, and if so, how many trees are needed? - Richard A. of Spring, Texas

ANSWER: I have to admit I'm not very familiar with apples in Texas, but they are indeed a good food source for deer wherever they grow.

I would caution, however, that deer don't just eat the fruit. They'll eat the trees as well, particularly later in the fall when their diet shifts to more fibrous, woody browse. 

If you planted smaller trees, and I assume you did, you might want to fence them for a few years until they get big enough to withstand browsing.

You were wise to plant two. Apples need at least two trees in order to cross-pollinate and produce fruit. More would be better, but two will do if you take care of them both.

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