Damage by fraying mostly on soft young trees, shrubs and branches; by stripping off the velvet from the antlers the bark is torn into shreds and stripes. The damage varies from single cracks to totally girdled stems. Lateral branches and twigs are mostly pitched and torn off. As a consequence of girdling the plant parts above dry out or, if girdling is not a complete one, the parts above become stunted. Beating occurs during the rutting season of deer as an abreaction of aggression and varies from splitting the bark of older trees to complete destruction of younger plants. Roe deer, but also Chamois beats onto young trees and shrubs in order to put an optical mark in addition to the olfactory one (from special glads)
Affected tree species
All tree species;
Since beating is an optical signal, the rarer species are selected, which are often deadly affected; if not killed, they suffer from an intense weakening, thus leading to a disadvantage regarding their competition with other plant species. The main forest damage is not only the loss of the individuum, but the change of the species composition in the stand (loss of diversity). Surviving trees often show stem deformations and the numerous wounds are places for entry of secondary damaging agents. In addition to growth loss this causes a loss in timber quality.
Curative measures Biological measures: damaged trees should remain in the stand (otherwise new individua are seleted and found by the deer). Hunting should be intensified in certain areas (hunting on the spot). As an integrated measure: protection of certain tree species by dense planting of species of lower value around them. Mechanical measure: protection of single plants by protection tubes, webs or grates or Monosäulen or wire-baskets. Large scale protection by fencing whole afforestation. Chemical control: application (painting or spraying) of protectives (see official register of Plant Protection). Olfactory repellents have mostly turned out to be effectless for a long-time protection.