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November 16, 2020 2 min read

Do deer eat arborvitae? In this article, we will talk about how to prevent deer from eating your arborvi-tae trees.
Property owners love arborvitae trees for their beauty. They can transform the ambiance around your home and use screening, hedging, and flanking entryways. Therefore, they grow in pyramids, offering a gorgeous appearance to your home while providing as much privacy. Arborvitae trees also have many attractive qualities such as their magnificent winter glow, superior cold and heat tolerance, and lots more. However, one glaring problem may suffice, which leads us to the question—do deer eat arborvitae?

Arborvitae trees are not deer resistant

While deer may ignore your arborvitae trees during the summer, they might become a nuisance in winter due to having their more favorite food sources around them. However, during the summer, deer can eat the young taste buds and twigs of the arborvitae, making them a nuisance all around. Deer can eat the arborvitae trees to the ground without being checked, especially when they have no other available food source.

Foliage sprays

You can make your repellents at home or purchase sprays from your local plant nurseries and retail out-lets. Read the labels carefully before purchasing to make sure you are getting the right mixture that will not harm your trees. You also need to regularly apply the repellents after snow or rain as these weather conditions wash them away. You may also require using alternating sprays to keep the deer confused about your plants.

Deer resistant plants

You can also consider using deer-resistant trees at the borders of your fields, especially after installing a low fence. Some arborvitae species are more resistant than others. For instance, deer do not prefer Western arborvitaes like steeplechase and spring grove, but they can devour emerald green arborvitae trees.

Evergreens like fir trees, ink berry hollies, junipers, Leland cypress, spruces, false cypress are also more deer-resistant than arborvitae. However, also note that no plant can be entirely free of deer. The deer palate changes according to the time and season and may likely eat any of the plants we mentioned here if there are no other options.


Fencing can ideally keep your trees from becoming deer foliage. Ensure you use an 8-foot fence to pre-vent deer from jumping over them. If you can’t afford to install a fence, you can also consider wrapping in mesh, deer netting, or burlap of at least 6 feet high to prevent the deer from defoliating the lower parts of your arborvitae trees.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat arborvitae? Deer can eat all parts of it and even destroy the tree in the process. However, they don’t do this during the summer as there are other palatable food sources available. Therefore, you must install effective deer deterrents to prevent deer from using your arborvitae as their winter dinner recipes. Fencing, repellents, and deer-resistant plants are excellent ways to avoid these awful circumstances.

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