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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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Friday - March 29, 2013

From: Highland, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant, Shade Tolerant, Trees
Title: Deer resistant, shade tolerant trees for part shade in Highland MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Deer resistant privacy trees for partial shady area in Highland, MD.

ANSWER:

The first problem with your request is the "deer-resistant" stipulation. We have a list of deer-resistant plants; please read this disclaimer paragraph from the top of the list:

"Deer Resistant Species

Few plants are completely deer resistant. Several factors influence deer browsing including the density of the deer population, environmental conditions such as drought, and plant palatability. Deer tend to avoid plants with aromatic foliage, tough leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap. Try using some of the plants listed here to minimize deer damage to your landscape."

Further complicating this problem is the fact that there are only 346 plants on that list, and that constitutes the deer-resistant plants for North America, including Canada but not including Mexico. By the time we sort that list down to not only Maryland, but Howard County, there will be very few choices. First, we will go to our list of Deer Resistant Species and then, using the Sidebar on the right-hand side of that page, we will select on Maryland for the state, "tree" for the Habit, and "part shade" for Light Requirements. Caution: You will need to read the whole webpage on each plant; some of the indicators will be "Highly Resistant" under deer resistance, some will only be "Moderately Resistant."

There were 8 results for this search:

Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud)

Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry)

Crataegus viridis (Green hawthorn)

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Populus deltoides (Eastern cottonwood)

Ptelea trifoliata (Wafer ash)

Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress)

Next, try going to our Native Plant Database. Using the Combination Search midway down that page, search on Maryland, tree, and part shade,  We have eliminated the  "deer resistant," but you can still read each webpage to find out the various characteristics of that particular plant. Again, these will be plants that will grow natively in Maryland.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Sugar hackberry
Celtis laevigata

Green hawthorn
Crataegus viridis

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

American sycamore
Platanus occidentalis

Eastern cottonwood
Populus deltoides

Wafer ash
Ptelea trifoliata

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

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