Deer herbivory protection for young conifers
I'm looking for input on what has worked to keep deer off young white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), at least long enough for them to get their heads out of reach of the deer's mouths. I also need this to be inexpensive and not too obtrusive-looking.
This is not for my tree farm-those cedar are never-and I do mean never-impacted by the numerous deer that live around there. No, this is for my work wherein we're trying to establish small groves of formerly more numerous "swamp conifer" species, along with other wetland woodies like red twigged dogwood, etc. in what I'm calling pods. So in other words, the n. white cedar, the red twigs, and tamarack trees, are being grouped together hither and yon in pockets.
We've already settled on steel T-posts strung with nothing more than twine, probably at one-foot intervals. I know deer "can" easily overcome this. I'm interested in seeing if they will do so. IOWs, looking for just the bare minimum technique required to dissuade them browsing on these trees (haven't touched the tamaracks yet) while they slowly attain some size.
This is quite ambitious. All anomalies like my land up north aside, Thuja o. is widely held to be imperiled in this and other northern states with the unnaturally high deer populations of these times. I've seen plants destryed overnight more times than I care to recount. But then too, I have read of folks achieving success by surprisingly simple means. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. I know if we erected a twelve-foot fence topped with barbs, we'd be set, but that would not be tolerated for these projects for a variety of reasons!