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George & Carol Anderson - Wrenshall, MN

posted Dec 7, 2009, 10:55 AM by Philip Potyondy   [ updated Jun 21, 2010, 11:20 PM ]
Deer have eaten the lower branches of this white pine but, thanks to the bud cap, the leader is fine.

The Man Knows Bud Capping!

Each year, George Anderson keeps track of the number of trees he’s bud capped by the number of staples he’s used. Last year, he used six boxes of 5,000 for a total of 30,000 staples! With an average of five staples used on each tree, that’s 6,000 trees wearing bud caps!

With experience, George has learned the bud cap stays in place better if one lower branch is included in the cap.
George, 78, lives with his wife Carol on their land in Wrenshall, which is southeast of Duluth. He started his latest round of tree planting seven years ago. “I collected seeds from my white and red pine and sent them to Itasca Greenhouse where they grew the seedlings for two years."


“White pines are the favorite of the deer but they will browse on red pine as well. Twenty years ago, the number of deer in our area was lower and browsing on the seedlings wasn’t a problem. Now, without the bud caps, the deer would wipe out my small pines.”

George with a sea of bud-capped white pines.
Last year George spent three weeks installing bud caps. This year his time was down to two weeks because some of the trees have grown tall enough that the leader is out of the reach of deer. In the spring, George doesn’t trust the bud caps to fall off on their own so he spends four or five days removing them.

George with the fruits of his past labors.
George says, “A side benefit to bud capping is the opportunity to inspect every tree. This year I found several that showed early signs of blister rust and trimmed the affected branches.”


Is it too late for you to put bud caps on your white pines this year? Not according to George. “It is best to do it in September but better late than never!"
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