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Mr. Smarty Plants - Deer-resistant shrubs for Michigan

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Wednesday - January 28, 2009

From: Maple City, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant shrubs for Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in deer country. I'm looking for shrubs that are attractive to birds but not to deer. Our soil is sandy. I have a part sun, part-shade situation. I live in zone 6, two miles east of Lake Michigan in Leelanau County.

ANSWER:

First, let's find shrubs that are native to Michigan.  We can do this by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database by choosing 'Michigan' from "Select State or Province" and 'Shrub' from "Habit (general appearance)".  This will give us a list that we can then check against Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance from Rutgers University in New Jersey and the Deer Resistant Species list on our webpage.  On the species page for each shrub we can also check under GROWING CONDITONS for soil type and under BENEFIT for attraction of birds.

Here are a few choices that meet your criteria of deer resistance, bird attraction and ability to grow in sandy soil in sun or part shade:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) rarely damaged

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) moderate deer resistance

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) seldom severely damaged

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) high deer resistance

Ribes aureum (golden currant) seldom severely damaged

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry) moderate deer resistance

Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood) rarely damaged

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberrybush) rarely damaged

Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw) rarely damaged


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Lindera benzoin

Rhus aromatica

Ribes aureum

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Viburnum prunifolium

 



 


 

 

 

 

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