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February 08, 2021 3 min read

Do deer eat Leyland cypress? These are popular evergreens used in landscaping that offer a form of privacy. If you have these fast-growing trees on your property, you need to learn more about deer nutrition. Then, you can know what to expect if you have Leyland cypress on your land or plan to plant them. Deer actually do eat these evergreen trees, so you need to protect your garden or yard.

Leyland cypress is often planted as privacy hedges and has soft-blue green needles. The pyramid shape of the evergreens adds visual appeal to any landscaping. You often see this species along perimeters of yards or on highway medians. Christmas tree farms also grow these evergreens. Therefore, many people ask, “do deer eat Leyland cypress?”

Is Leyland Cypress Deer Resistant?

In theory, Leyland cypress makes great evergreen additions that are deer-resistant. However, according to the Rutgers classification, this species can occasionally be severely damaged. Certain circumstances cause deer to seek these trees out to eat. Droughts, winter weather, or a pregnant doe can make your Leyland cypress vulnerable. The trees have soft, delicate foliage, unlike many other deer-resistant evergreens. Other species have prickly leaves, making them less inviting. Deer eat Leyland cypress because it’s easy to consume.

Therefore, you need to take careful steps to protect these trees on your property. Here are some methods to keep deer away from your Leyland cypress evergreens.

Use Repellents

If you have Leyland cypress as a hedge, it’s vital to make sure they don’t taste or smell good to deer. It’s very important to use repellant if your trees are young and growing. Deer especially love young shoots and will always eat the fresh buds of a Leyland cypress. Since the evergreens grow fast, even parts of mature trees can be eaten.

That’s why a repellent may help you prevent and reduce the amount of deer damage to your Leyland cypress. Still, you need to be vigilant and maintain the evergreen. You have to re-apply the repellents you use. Deer are very persistent and may keep returning to the site to eat. However, you should rotate between two different combinations of repellants. This method will keep the deer from becoming familiar with the taste and smell.

Keep Other Deer Favorites Closer to Home

To further discourage their foraging, keep all plants that deer love to eat close to your home. However, this technique doesn’t work in all areas. If you have a high deer population near your property, you’ll need to rethink this method.

Use Scare Tactics

You can also use other deterrents. People use motion-activated sprinklers, radios, or fencing to keep deer out for good. However, just like using repellents, you need to alternate your methods. That way, you can keep the deer uncertain and away from your garden.

Consider Other Deer-Resistant Hedges

Leyland cypress isn’t the best deer-resistant hedge to choose. You can consider other evergreens that do a better job with deterrence. Holly, wax myrtle, barberries, boxwood, and green giant arborvitae are better. These choices let you create a stronger and more enclosed privacy screen. These deer-resistant hedges are less likely to be eaten.

Concluding Thoughts

Do deer eat Leyland cypress? Yes, they can consume these evergreen trees, especially in winter when food is scarce. Prepare for possible damage when cultivating Leyland cypress. Protect your trees if you’re planting in an area with a high deer population. The best way to keep deer from eating Leyland cypress is to combine and rotate deterrents. These methods will protect your garden, yard, and landscaping.

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