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May 14, 2020 2 min read

Do you have questions such as do deer eat walnut? Then you must know that deer have a complex relationship with the black walnuts. In this article, we will share insights into that relationship.

The Black walnut has served as food, ornaments, landscaping and building materials. However, deer have a complicated relationship with walnuts. For instance, deer eat different kinds of nuts, including hazelnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, beechnuts, acorns. Deer also eat the twigs, leaves and catkins of these nuts. But do deer eat walnut? It depends. Deer may eat from the black walnut if they are really hungry.

However, they will not work in most cases, because the nuts are too hard to crack. However, they will most likely eat the leaves or twigs of the tree during the cold months. You can plant the black walnut tree at the outer edges of your plantation to deter deer.

You should also remember that walnut leaflets, roots, and buds secrete a chemical known as jug lone that may affect the growth of other plants in the area. Jug lone will prevent other plants from having the capacity to exchange oxygen for the carbon dioxide in the air, which inhibits their growth. Jug lone is also present in the husks, and fruits of the walnut. They can serve as a controlling ecological force but will be bad for farmers. Therefore, make sure you give a reasonable distance between the walnut trees and your other plants to avoid these issues.

If you plan on using the black walnut for shade around your home, also note that some people and horses are sensitive to the walnut pollen. They might suffer allergic reactions from it during spring once the pollen shed.

Other ways to prevent deer damage? Besides planting walnuts or other deer resistant trees, you can also use these simple methods to keep them out.

Lure them away

Use sun hemp or other palatable forages at field edges to lure them away from your crop fields. Then plant a row of deer-resistant plants before cultivating your main crops.

This means sacrificing some portions of your crop fields. Still, it is often better than allowing them to have unlimited access to all sections of your fields.

Agricultural fences

Fences are effective wild animal protection measures. Nevertheless, your state or region may have guidelines on the type of fences allowed. Ensure to check the local law and regulations. Some fence types that can serve as effective deer deterrents include wire fences, plastic fences, and electric fences.

Natural Repellents

You can also use natural deterrents to keep them away. One such effective natural protection measures are creating heavy smoke. You can also plant chili peppers, beehive fencing, garlic or fish concoction. Egg-based repellents are also suitable, although you may need to reapply regularly.

Do deer eat walnut?

It depends. Deer do not eat walnuts as much as they eat other nuts. They will only eat walnuts when they can’t access other desirable foods. Farmers can use walnuts as a way of deterring deer. Still, it might be counterproductive since walnut may also hinder your other crops from growing. Pay more attention to alternative ways to deter deer as they are twice as effective.