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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - May 06, 2009

From: Ironwood, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Prunus subhirtella deer resistance in Ironwood MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is the double flowering prunus pendula subhirtella deer "food"?

ANSWER:

Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula" is native to Japan, and therefore out of the range of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We are committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they are being grown. Natives to an area will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. In our Deer Resistant Species, which of course is all native plants, we found two members of the Prunus genus, Prunus minutiflora (Texas almond), which was shown to have high deer resistance, and Prunus minutiflora (Texas almond), which had no information on its deer resistance. Members of the Prunus genus, except for the flesh and skin of the fruits, contain hydrocyanic acid, so perhaps the deer have learned to leave them alone, we don't know. You can read this USDA Forest Service website Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula' for more information. Another caution on using this tree: the USDA Plant Profile for it does not show the tree growing in Gogebic County at all. Perhaps this is due to the fact that, on the westermost point of Michigan, you are in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3b (average annual minimum temperatures -40 to -35 deg. F) to Zone 4a (-30 to -25).

 

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