En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Deer-resistant evergreens for southern CT.

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

Monday - October 05, 2009

From: Woodbridge, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant evergreens for southern CT.
Answered by: Anne Bossart and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We live on a deer path in southern Connecticut. What native evergreen tree can we plant which will not be eaten to death by the deer?

ANSWER:

Well, you have brought up a very touchy subject.  There is absolutely nothing that deer won't eat when they are under pressure.  The loss of habitat and natural predators have resulted in deer ringing doorbells in the Northeast requesting access to the crisper once they have eaten the petunias from the planters.

This challenge has turned many gardeners into obssesed, crazed folks much like Bill Murray in the movie "Caddyshack".  I know: I've been one of them.  Others give up and move to condos.  If you do an internet search or open any garden magazine or supply catalogue you will find many articles dedicated to the subject and products for deterring deer.

That being said, deer do have preferences and they seem to be regional.  On one street they'll devour a plant and leave it alone on the next.  So my best advice is to inquire locally (neighbors, nurseries and Master  Gardener hotlines) as to what gardeners have had the most success with. In general, though, they prefer arborvitae and fir to hemlock and pine.  Hemlock is not a good choice in your area, however, as it is quite susceptible to woolly adelgid and short-lived.

Some gardeners enclose their newly-planted trees within a heavy, wire enclosure -- sort of a tree-sized "tomato hoop."  Not only can a hoop deter browsing, but it will prevent bucks from rubbing the bark off your young trees when they're shedding velvet from their antlers in the fall.  If erecting a hoop or building a fence at least 8 feet tall to exclude them is not a possibility, I recommend trying to ignore the problem.  You are living in their habitat and fighting a losing battle.

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Determining best time to harvest deer grass seeds in California
September 06, 2006 - When is the best time to harvest deer grass seeds at about 4,000 feet in southern Riverside County California??
view the full question and answer

Junipers for restoring area in Bulverde TX
November 03, 2012 - Are ashe or virginiana junipers for sale around the hill country? I would like to recreate the natural plant life that was bulldozed next to my home. Do you recommend any other types of juniper that ...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Pond Plants
March 14, 2013 - I am looking for deer resistant aquatic plants to use around a natural swimming pond in San Marcos, TX. The plants will be used to filter the water in a separate section of the pond. There will be a p...
view the full question and answer

Is Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) deer resistant
May 13, 2008 - I visited a building in Austin, Texas today that had Star Jasmine out front. The man I was visiting said it is also called Confederate Jasmine. It smelled divine! I am wondering if it is deer resis...
view the full question and answer

Are there plants that are resistant to axis deer?
November 07, 2013 - Greetings! I live about 10 miles south of Kerrville, Texas, toward Medina. I wish to begin planting more natives on a plot we have recently purchased. Some plants will go inside a fence that deer...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center