We decided to try out the balloon bud cap method to protect the Red Oak from the devastating effects of deer browse. The more that I look for it, the more I see that the deer like the Red Oak as well as or even more than the White Pine.
This photo shows a Red Oak with (green) balloon bud cap. Note the bud capped White Pine in the background. Much of our best Red Oak regeneration is in with the White Pine regeneration.
We'll monitor the handful of Red Oaks that we bud capped this fall/winter to see if the method is effective. It would be nice if we could cap the Red Oak at the same time as the White Pine, but that won't likely work, as we like to do the White Pine as early in the fall as possible, but the Red Oaks don't lose their leaves until late fall.