Mortenson

5 year old buck +
Today I'm going to start bud capping 1 year old norway spruce 4a plugs. Most of them are obviously quite small. If I staple a folded index card over the leader, which also happens to cover most of the tree itself, will that harm or even kill the tree this coming growing season? Many of these trees are only 8" tall, with almost all the good, green needles being right at the top. Thanks for the help.
 

Bluecollaroutdoors

5 year old buck +
Great question. I am trying it next weekend as well for the first time. Common sense tells me a little thick paper wont kill a tree , but I could be wrong. I would think it will still get some sun, moisture and airflow.

Depending on tree #s you could go back in spring and pull them off again.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
I've never bud-capped. What is the most common method / material for capping ??
 

rocksnstumps

5 year old buck +
Bud capping typically involves putting on after the trees go dormant in the fall and removing before spring growth happens. Other things green up before the trees so one waits long enough for that to happen and not risk too early and browsing. Material costs are really low but you do have some time investment.

And as I'm sure you know, they suggest trying to capture a few needles in the stapling process so the folded cards cant easily blow off in a wind or in a few mouths testing your handiwork.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
From what I've gathered, either cardboard/index cards or window screen.


My deer have proven to eat them, so I need to bud cap as many of the 1,000 I can find. Planted 3 acres worth, 12'x12' spacing. Once I get these back on track this year with good spraying, I'm hoping to plug another 3 acres next year.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
So far I've capped 300 with 4x6 cards and 350 with 3x5 cards. Not a whole lot of difference other than I think the stapling process is a skosh quicker with the smaller cards. Will be interesting to see if any held tight in the 50 mph gusts we had today. Some of the trees made a little growth in their 1st year. Others got buried under flattened grass. I'll need to try and find more of them when I arrive with the backpack sprayer, but for now those ones are hidden from the deer! Going to have to get crafty and find a way to mow between the rows this year. It's not the easiest of spots.

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Mortenson

5 year old buck +
This technique failed me!!!

Checked on a bunch of them today and it was a heartbreaker. I think the index cards serve no protection from my deer trying to eat them. Even if they did, a lot of them were no match for the rain, snow, and wind we've had. This has been just barely over a month's time. I can't help but think the stupid white flags call the deer in to know right where the food is. Based on the sampling I saw, hundreds are probably messed up. I'm growing weary of this.

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bueller

Moderator
This technique failed me!!!

Checked on a bunch of them today and it was a heartbreaker. I think the index cards serve no protection from my deer trying to eat them. Even if they did, a lot of them were no match for the rain, snow, and wind we've had. This has been just barely over a month's time. I can't help but think the stupid white flags call the deer in to know right were the food is. Based on the sampling I saw, hundreds are probably messed up. I'm growing weary of this.

View attachment 12292 View attachment 12293 View attachment 12294 View attachment 12295
Ouch :emoji_astonished:
 

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
Those look like my sticks I have remaining after not capping mine.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
They make clear plastic rolls of bud caps that work really well. I've used lots of them protecting red pines. You just tear off one section and fold it on itself on the terminal bud. It's sticky on the bottom half and not at the top, so it's held in place below the terminal bud, but not sticking on the bud itself. I put some on in October and they look great right now - no deer damage and they're still there.

I've used them mainly for red pines since the deer here seem to like them the best. But I've also noticed damage to my white spruce, so I might have to put bud caps on them for the first time.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
Ben thanks for the info. I tried searching for that product but didn't find it. Do you have a link?
 

bueller

Moderator
I've used them mainly for red pines since the deer here seem to like them the best. But I've also noticed damage to my white spruce, so I might have to put bud caps on them for the first time.
I don't think I remember hearing anyone having their red pines browsed hard. What if any conifers grow naturally on that ground?
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
Ben thanks for the info. I tried searching for that product but didn't find it. Do you have a link?
I'll look tonight when I get home and let you know the company that makes the plastic sticker style bud caps.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
I don't think I remember hearing anyone having their red pines browsed hard. What if any conifers grow naturally on that ground?

I initially had deer browsing problems with red pines on my hunting land in Rusk County Wisconsin - they browsed the terminal buds pretty hard. The deer numbers were much higher up there 10 years ago when I initially had problems there though. I planted a couple hundred replacement red pines up there two years ago and didn't need to cap them. Just about every kind of evergreen grows up there naturally.

On my land in SE MN the deer eat the red pines I plant as well - even more often than my land in WI. I got lazy and didn't cap them the first two years here and probably 95% of the red pines were browsed and damaged. It really stinks because once they browse the terminal bud on red pines they don't bounce back too quickly. I capped them this October, so hopefully that helps them out a bit. We have lots of red cedars growing in this area in abandoned pasture type areas, but that's about it for native conifers. There are a few white pines growing near bigger river systems here too, but they aren't very common. The deer here like eating both red cedars and white pines as well.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
The name of the roll of bud caps that I use is listed as "IFA BudCap".

I believe it was a nursery or tree company from NW US that had it's own line of bud caps. I did a quick google search and couldn't find anything though, so maybe they went out of business. Perhaps you could dig around and find them somewhere though. I believe they ended up costing around $0.05-$0.10 per cap if I remember right.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
The name of the roll of bud caps that I use is listed as "IFA BudCap".

I believe it was a nursery or tree company from NW US that had it's own line of bud caps. I did a quick google search and couldn't find anything though, so maybe they went out of business. Perhaps you could dig around and find them somewhere though. I believe they ended up costing around $0.05-$0.10 per cap if I remember right.

Thanks for the tip, here's a link to them:
https://allegancd.org/shop/merchandise/ifa-bud-caps/

-John
 

chickenlittle

5 year old buck +
The link John found was the only I could find but they don't ship. Local conservation district office, order online and pickup only.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +

Mine arrived last month. Shipping was pretty expensive coming from the west coast. She contacted me with the exact shipping amount before processing the order and asked if I still wanted to go through with it. I'll probably start attaching them any free time I have going forward. My chemicals worked well this year so finding my remaining trees shouldn't be too bad.
 

Jayber

5 year old buck +
Mine arrived last month. Shipping was pretty expensive coming from the west coast. She contacted me with the exact shipping amount before processing the order and asked if I still wanted to go through with it. I'll probably start attaching them any free time I have going forward. My chemicals worked well this year so finding my remaining trees shouldn't be too bad.
Thanks, will have to give them a call tomorrow to see just how much shipping may be.

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