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October 29, 2020 3 min read

When you have young, budding plants to care for, you may ask – Do Deer eat new shrubs? In this article, we will shed insights on Deer and their relationships with young plants.

With spring, comes the fresh buds and shoots. As a gardener, there is something unique about watching the new lives spring forth. During this time, you may also contend with a wide array of “visitors” including the Deer. Deer will have lots to eat in surplus ranging from fruits to vegetables to seeds and lots more. However, you may wonder – do Deer eat new shrubs?

Unfortunately at this time of the year, Deer will be mostly drawn to the young budding plants including new shrubs. Even the smallest fruit plants will not be left out if there are no measures in place to protect them.

Ravaging effect of Deer on new shrubs

As the Deer feeds on the tender plant shrubs, it does not provide any benefit to these shrubs but stunts their growth. When Deer feeds on tender shoots, the growing end becomes history, all you find left behind are torn terminal stems and leaves ragged. In some plants, this feeding pattern may help provide some form of “natural pruning” to improve the quality and aesthetics of such a plant. However, for a good number of prized shrubs or ornamental trees, that may not survive the impact. On such occasions, you must consider adding other deterrent methods. Scare tactics, erecting new fences, or using repellents are excellent ways to get started.

If you are considering adding a fence to your property, go for eight-foot-tall fences. They are the most effective deer deterrent. However, adding a tall wall to your property might be expensive. You can consider adding a six-foot-tall fence that is built at an outward angle, therefore making it challenging for a deer to climb. Alternatively, you can also use deer netting to help exclude Deer from your property. However, deer netting may not be ideal for every home, since they are not aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Some other deterrents you can use for your new shrubs include wire cages, individual protections, flashy streamers, and whirligigs. All of these can be effective, but you should always change such repellents from time to time, to prevent Deer from adapting to them.

One more way to deter Deer from your new shrubs is by cultivating deer-resistant plants at the edge of your property. Some of these plants you can use include: Spruce, oleander, rosemary, birches, daffodils. However, while using these plants, do understand that there are no ways to completely deer-proof your garden by using just one method. It would be best if you used a mixture of techniques to ensure that you are on the right path.

Concluding thoughts

Do Deer eat new shrubs? Yes, they do. Although a lot of shrubs and trees are considered unpalatable, their new variants are natural deer attractants. Therefore, during spring, you must be extra careful about the methods you choose to deter Deer. Make sure; you are combining at least two to three deer deterrent tactics to keep them away from your property.

Additional Reading

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