Do deer eat Norway spruce trees?

Do deer eat Norway spruce trees? This question comes to mind because we all love cultivating them. Norway spruce trees require a lot less time to grow than other spruce trees.

Besides its lightning-fast growth rate, it can also climb as high as 100 feet and remain in place for centuries. It is also an excellent shade-tolerant tree and can survive dense grass covers. Another great and popular reason we grow the Norway spruce tree is for Christmas.

It is the main Christmas tree used across diverse cities in the world. Beyond that, this evergreen finds much use in parks and gardens and as privacy screens. So, if you wish to cultivate your own Norway spruce trees, you may wonder – do deer eat Norway spruce trees?

Norway spruce trees as deer resistant

Deer do not eat the Norway spruce trees. They are conical with stiff and sharp four-sided needles. Their buds are also not sticky, and so the tree has very little deer food value.

Suppose you also consider adding other evergreens that can deliver the same deer resistance as Norway spruce threes. In that case, these evergreens are a great choice:

• Mugo pines
• Dwarf Alberta spruce
• American holly trees
• Eastern red cedars
• Japanese false cypress
• Colorado blue spruces
• Japanese umbrella pines.

Deer will also ignore evergreen trees such as Japanese maple, Black locust, mimosa, black tupelo, Paw Paw, Black walnut, and sweetgum.

How to protect your Norway spruce trees?

Deer can eat Norway spruce trees as a last resort. However, they will be most attracted to them when they are young. Furthermore, even as deer will not eat them, they can destroy them by rubbing their antlers to the trunks. When deer rub their antlers against the bulk of the tree, it causes injury to it, which may eventually kill the tree if it continues. Therefore, you need to protect your spruce trees.

Here are some measures to try:

Individual tree covers

Individual tree covers can effectively keep deer away from your evergreens. A tree guard is an excellent choice for this purpose. Make sure to create one using a 2-band of sheet metal, and it should reach as high as 8 feet off the ground.


Fencing your entire property is also an excellent way to keep deer away from your whole garden. However, ensure your fence is over 8 feet tall. Deer can jump over anything lower than that. There are different fencing selections to choose from. You can invest in electric, wire, or wooden fence. No matter your choice, make sure it is high enough and firmly dragged to the ground.


You may also consider using repellents around your Norway spruce trees. You can make them at home or purchase the more effective repellent mixes. However, you will need to re-apply your repellents once it rains or snows. You may also rotate between two repellent variants to keep deer out effectively. Click here for a list of deer resistant plants.


Do deer eat Norway spruce trees? No, they don’t. Deer will only eat Norway spruce trees if they cannot find any other food source. However, deer can cause a Norway spruce trees’ death if they rub their antlers against it. Therefore protecting your Norway spruce trees is diligent. Use these protective methods, and you can keep deer from damaging your trees.

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  1. LauraS on February 5, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    FYI, I have 5 Dwarf Alberta Spruce out front and the deer have eaten the tops off of all of them and various chunks out of the remainder. There are lots of other things to choose from (I’m in Alabama and there’s still a lot of green out there). They all need to be dug up now as they look awful.

    • Dave on January 17, 2023 at 11:56 pm

      Deer DO eat Norway spruce. I have much damage from from 9 trees that have been eaten, mostly on one side. I watched a deer eating one yesterday. So I disagree with emphatic ” no they don’t”.

      • Sarah Ski on January 24, 2023 at 4:16 pm

        Hi Dave,

        I agree! Although spruce are considered to be less desirable to deer; if they’re hungry enough, they’ll go after them! I’d recommend our liquid Deer & Rabbit Mace. The reason I recommend that product is due to the fact that you can spray/mist the tree easily, covering it entirely. Our Deer & Rabbit Mace should be applied once per week for the first three weeks. Thereafter, you should only have to apply our MACE once per month for maximum protection. Although, if you experience heavy rainfall, we recommend re-applying our MACE. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns. We’re always happy to help!

        Kind regards,

    • Sarah Ski on January 24, 2023 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Laura,

      I apologize for our untimely reply! I see exactly what you’re saying in regards to the deer eating the tops off of your spruce trees! Typically, spruce trees are deer resistant, but not deer proof. Unfortunately, if they’re hungry enough, they’ll go after any tree! Have you looked at our Deer & Rabbit Mace? It’s a very effective product. Although, it’s very important to apply it at least once per week for the first three weeks, and then once per month thereafter. It’s a rain-resistant product. However, if there’s a heavy downpour/rainfall we advise to re-apply it. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns. We’re glad to help!

      Kind Regards,

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