Deer Damage of Trees and Shrubs

Deer are one of nature’s creatures that roam through most of our neighborhoods.  They may or may not damage your trees and shrubs.  Some damage is not well seen, while others are very noticeable.  The best way to protect against deer damage is to protect your plants from the damage.  We will mention three ways to prevent damage here.

One way to protect your plants from deer damage such as the deer feeding on them, is to plant deer resistant plants.  Deer really like the newer growth of such plants as arborvitaes and azaleas.  Sometimes the damage is not seen until it gets severe.  One way to protect these plants is to plant deer resistant ones.  That maybe eliminating plants like arborvitaes and azaleas.  Lists of deer resistant plants can be obtained from your local extension service or state agricultural university.

If you still want to keep your plants that deer like to feed on, then your second option is to use deer repellents.  These can be sprayed on or applied near the plants.  Sprayed on method are applied prior to deer feeding, usually in the late fall, spring or summer.  Several application per year are recommended.  Some common products are Liquid Fence, Deer Away, Deer Off, and many more.  Other repellents are spread around or hung on the plants. Before applying any repellents, be sure to read the label and follow the instructions.


Another type of protection is a barrier. This method is to prevent the deer from damaging the trunks of young trees or feeding on the plants.  Male deer go through a rutting season every year from September to November.  They are rubbing the velvet off their antlers, attracting does and marking their territories.  They use young tree to do this, and often rub the bark off these trees.  To protect your young trees you can put wire mesh held up by stakes or perforated tubing around the trucks.  If the deer are feeding on your plants, a thin black plastic mesh netting can be placed over or around your plants to protect them.  Make sure the netting doesn’t touch the plants, because deer will still try to eat the plants through it.

Deer Protection

There are many ways and materials you can use to protect your plants from deer damage, but it all starts with being proactive and protecting them before the deer come into your yard.  Would you like to learn more about trees and shrubs and how to protect them?

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