TorreyaKeepers will be working with recovery plan partners to compile information on best practices for managing Torreya trees. Until a collaborative product is developed, we suggest the following practices.
It is recommended that Torreya trees be fenced to prevent deer browse. Deer like to rub their antlers on the trees, which injures the trees and hastens death from the fungal disease. Cages have been installed on trees in Torreya State Park.
- Fencing – Sturdy metal fencing can be placed around the tree to form a cage. We have had good results with heavy duty galvanized steel welded wire with 2” x 4” squares. Width of fence roll (height of cage) can be 3 or 4 feet. Place fencing around tree and branches so that no living part of the tree touches the fence, and without too much open space that will invite deer inside.
- Posts – We use steel farm-fence T-posts 5 feet long and/or rebar cut to 5 foot lengths. Use two or three posts per cage, depending on size, or more if needed. Experiment with post placement before installation to make sure all parts of tree will be adequately protected. Install with post pounder.
- Set fencing about 6 inches above the ground to allow leaves to pass through and not pile up. Heat buildup from mulch could harm the tree. If the tree has a numbered identification tag, put an ID tag on the cage that corresponds to the ID number on the tree.
- Check cages periodically. Remove any branches or debris that have fallen on it. Adjust shape if needed to protect the tree.