How big should my apple trees be before I can safely remove the exclusion cages and the deer not browse them to death? I will keep the trunk protected to prevent rodents and rubbing. But roughly how far off the ground should my first scafold be for the tree to be big enough that the deer won't eat it to a stick! I typically don't get significant snowfall. My thinking is at sompoint if I keep the cage up then the deer can't reach the apples that fall - and that's the whole point!