American hazelnut, European hazelnut and hazelnut trees are safe and fine for deer to eat.
Personally, I found out that the American Hazelnuts do fine at the edge of a woods with part shade while the European seem to like more sun.
To keep a Deer out of your hazelnut garden, take a 5” high fence and cut into a 6” length and form a circle and use a steel stake to anchor.
Branches might grow out and the deer will eat them but that typically results in the taller branches (above the deers reach) grow faster.
Do Deer like Hazelnuts?
Deer like hazelnuts – they defoliate them each year.
Some hazelnut species have proven to be disease resistant, hardy, and can tolerate a great many growing conditions.
Because deer are voracious eaters, it is typical for one of your questions to be – do deer eat hazelnuts?
Deer love hazelnuts. So much so you will have a hard time keeping the plants unless you fence them.
ALSO SEE: Do Deer Eat Elderberry?
How to Protect Hazelnut Plant from Deer
Here are some ways to protect your young hazelnut plant from a deer attack:
Fencing is one of the most effective ways to keep your hazelnuts out of the reach of a deers mouth.
Fences are expensive because you have to buy them, install, and maintain them from time to time. But, most importantly, they need to be high enough to prevent entry for deers.
We recommend using a double parallel fence of about 4-6 ft with a few feet in between.
Optionally, you can also erect a tall fence (using any material of your choice) of around 8-10 feet. That remains perhaps the best way to protect your hazelnuts from a deer attack.
Individual tree protection
Deer netting, spiral wings, wire mesh, tree shelters and plenty of other moves will protect your young trees from trees.
A lot of barriers will need yearly maintenance but is 100% worth it in the long run. You should make sure the barrier placed should be at least 6 feet, so as the plant grows past the reach of the deer, you can confidently sit back.
You can buy commercial repellents or make your own bar,
Shafts of human hair and bar soaps can prove helpful. Rotten eggs (if you don’t mind the smell) would work too. So, try it out.
There are also lots of commercial varieties that can work really well during the growing season. But it would help if you reapplied on different occasions, especially after it rains or watering your plants.
Remember to alternate between repellents to prevent deer from becoming comfortable with them. By switching, you can surprise them and keep them out of your food plot.
Do deer like American Hazelnuts? Yes, they do. They can eat shoots, nuts, and twigs, causing undue damage to young hazelnut trees.
To deter deer from your fields, install a fence, use repellents, and implement a diligent strategy that can keep deer away from your trees.