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November 11, 2020 2 min read

When cultivating pine cones, you might ask – do deer eat pine cones? This post will look at how possible it is for deer to eat pine cones and what you can do about it.

Deer eat a wide range of things to survive. From evergreens, forbs, grasses to toxic plants, their palates can change remarkably according to the time and season. They are also known for their incredible abil-ity to pack away 10 pounds in a single day. Therefore, when cultivating pine cones, it’s excellent to ask – do deer eat pine cones? Knowing the answer will help you put your best foot forward to avoid all sorts of awful things from happening to your pine cones.

Deer and pine cones

According to popular sources, pines are considered a deer-resistant plant. Reality is an entirely different matter. Deer love to rest in the shade of the pine tree and might rub their hides and antlers against the tree, causing damage in that regard. Again, deer may not prefer pine cones, but they can eat them when they don’t find their favorites available. They will also eat pine cones when they can see future pine buds, which they consider more nutritious than pine needles. Buds and young plants are always a favorite meal-time snack for deer. Moreover, studies show that deer will prefer the white pine before any other pine tree concerning pine species.

Therefore, if you need pine trees that are not always selected for food by deer, go for species such as Mugo pines, Japanese back pines, Pitch pine, and Red pines. White pine, Red pine, and Austrian pine all fall within pine classes that deer may occasionally eat.

Keeping deer away

Whether the deer disturbs your pine trees or not, protecting against possible future “invasions” is ideal. We recommend installing a good fence to keep them out. You may also consider investing in at least two commercial repellents to deer-proof your property. Ensure you apply alternatively and reapply whenever it rains to keep them out. Cultivating deer-resistant pine trees can also help deter them. How-ever, you must use this method alongside other possible deer deterrent solutions.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat pine cones? Yes, they do, although deer do not preferably eat them. Deer can eat pine when it finds no other palatable food sources or when these pines are native to the location. Deer will also eat White pine, Austrian pine, and Red pine before considering varieties such as the Black pines and Mugo pines. This can help you make the right choice about how to safeguard your pine cones from deer. Nevertheless, always remember that there is no one way to keep deer from attacking your pines. However, if you are patient, persistent, and using the methods listed above, you can adequately keep deer out of your property.

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