En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - September 10, 2009

From: Stillwater, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Food for deer and turkey in Oklahoma
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We recently moved to NE Oklahoma from Texas and have 7 acres, a lot of wild turkeys and wild deer. About 2-3 acres are open, with sun and partial to lots of shade as the rest is heavily wooded. What can I plant in the open areas that deer and turkey like?

ANSWER:

It is a pleasure to tell someone about plants that deer like, instead of trying to find plants that deer won't eat!  Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service publication, Ecology and Management of Deer in Oklahoma, shows a list of "Some Preferred Native Foods" and Texas Parks and Wildlife has a publication, White-tailed Deer Managment in the Texas Hill Country, that also has a list in Appendix B of favorite deer browse.  Here are a few of the suggestions from these lists:

Nyssa sylvatica (blackgum)

Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak) and other oaks for their acorns.

Celtis laevigata var. reticulata (netleaf hackberry)

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) and Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac), as well as other sumacs.

Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite)

As it turns out, wild turkey like much the same food as deer along with the addition of grasses, especiallly in the Panicum sp. and Paspalum sp.  Here are are a few species of these particular grasses that occur in Oklahoma:

Panicum capillare (witchgrass)

Panicum hallii (Hall's panicgrass)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Paspalum floridanum (Florida paspalum)

You can read more about creating and maintaining habitat for turkeys in the publication from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie Wildlife Management—Wild Turkey.


Nyssa sylvatica

Quercus shumardii

Celtis laevigata var. reticulata

Diospyros virginiana

Cornus drummondii

Cornus florida

Rhus aromatica

Rhus lanceolata

Prosopis glandulosa

Panicum capillare

Panicum hallii

Panicum virgatum

Paspalum floridanum

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Bur oak bark damage done by deer
February 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Just noticed that deer have been rubbing the bark on good sized, but young, bur oaks planted last spring. Mostly in one spot on one side of the trunk. Will this kill the ...
view the full question and answer

Deer--resistant plants for Great Falls, VA
August 16, 2010 - We have just moved to a house with a rural garden enjoyed by us and the deer. Can you recommend any deer resistant plants for ths location ? ( We have full sun and shade - zip code 22066. Thanks,
view the full question and answer

Help! The deer are eating my landscape.
March 14, 2004 - Help! The deer are eating my landscape. Is there anything I can plant that they won’t eat?
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Groundcover for lower Michigan
June 24, 2012 - What ground cover is deer resistant for a sunny location in lower Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Privacy Fence to Exclude Deer
February 13, 2015 - This is not a plant question but I hope you will answer it. I have a huge backyard and a low picket fence. Over the years the deer have fallen in love with this area and have eaten much of my native...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center