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Monday - March 02, 2009

From: Toronto, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant plants for Toronto, Ontario
Answered by: Barbara Medford


What are the native trees and shrubs that are resistant to deer browsing and rubbing?


We can sympathize with your problem. In Texas, we also have deer who seem to be willing to walk up and eat your hat if you don't run. Very likely, they are foraging for different plants here than they are in Canada, but that doesn't change the seriousness of the situation. Although we have lists of deer-resistant species, again, that probably isn't going to apply specifically to your situation. However, we did a little net-surfing, and found some websites that might at least give you some leads. First, here is a GardenWise from Canada Wide Media Limited site Container Displays: Deer Resistant Plants.

A company called Plantskydd Repellants is featured on a Tree World site with two articles from the Billings, Montana Gazette by Rita M. Brehm on Deer Resistant Plants and Deterrents Minimize Damage.  Okay, even in Texas we know that Montana is not in Canada, but it's close, right? 

That was about all we could find that was specifically about northern North America.  However, in our Special Collections, we have a list of Deer Resistant Species. It is noted that deer do not like aromatic plants, nor plants with spines or prickles. They would probably really have to be hungry to attack a Texas Prickly Pear! However, for virtually every entry on that list, someone can tell you that they planted that plant and the deer levelled it. We should note that all the plants on this list are native to North America, which does include Canada. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. So, some of the plants on this list are probably quite unpalatable to deer, but you would be challenged to grow Agave havardiana (Havard's century plant) in Ontario. See pictures below to see why we don't think the deer would care for it.

Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana

Agave havardiana




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