Protecting the Orchard Using Soap

Winter weather has come to Wisconsin. Snow has fallen and the cold wind is blowing. It’s that time of year for me to do what I can to insure my orchard will be happy and healthy next spring. I think that the biggest “predators” for my apple and cherry trees are deer. I have heard it mentioned numerous times that Irish Spring soap is the best at keeping deer away. I’m going to share with you how I use the soap method to deter deer from eating my trees.

First things first, you need to have Irish Spring soap and empty plastic fruit cups.
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I then drilled holes into the sides of my cups. The holes should be on the side to keep rain or melting snow out of the cup. The drilled holes should also be large enough to put a zip tie through.
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I also drilled a hole in the soap, but you could also use a sharp object to poke a hole in the bars. They are rather soft. I also cut each bar of soap in half.
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Once I had all the holes put in I went to work outside. I stuck the soap in the cup and put a zip tie through the cup and soap. I attached the soap cup onto a tree brand with the same zip tie. This is what mine look like when hanging on the tree.
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I like to use the cup on the soap so that the rain and snow doesn’t wash the soap away. I’m hoping that it will last longer. I can smell the soap when I walk out to the orchard, so I’m certain it will keep the deer away.

I will have to check on the soap cups periodically throughout the winter to make sure I don’t need to replace any of the soap. For now, I only have one on each tree, but if I see evidence of deer eating my trees I will know that I need to add more.

Best of luck to you on keeping your trees safe this winter!

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