Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Tuesday - March 15, 2011

From: Romeo, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer Damage to Pencil Holly in Michigan
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus

QUESTION:

I have 5 sky pencil holly bushes that are about 3 feet tall each..they don't grow very fast. I was looking forward to them reaching the 7 feet mark one day, as they are going to serve as a screen behind a statue. We live in the woods and the deer ate half of the foliage off of them and some of the tops of the branches. It's been a rough winter here in Michigan. They look pathetic now..do you think they will come back/recover this spring? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

Pencil holly is native to Japan and we are only able to answer questions about plants native to the United States. However it is my personal experience that, unless you provide protection for your plants, deer will eat most of them. I recently planted around 200 trees and shrubs on a new property and ended up having to build a little circular fence around each tree/shrub to protect it from deer.  And if any branches grew out through the wire, the deer ate them.

The branches on evergreens will not grow back and you will no longer have a screen to the ground. And if the trees without tops even live, they will probably  be distorted. Contact a nursery or your county agriculture agent for more help.

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer-resistant native plants for Idaho
March 22, 2008 - I live in Pocatello, Idaho. Everything we plant the deer eat. Are there trees, bushes, flowers that they won't eat? Is there any barriers or natural repugnant fragrances that will deter the deer f...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Evergreens for Pennsylvania Woods
March 12, 2015 - We are looking for evergreens that will grow in a partially shaded/wooded area and are ideally deer resistant. Hemlocks are out because of a parasite infestation in our area of Pennsylvania.
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant evergreens for southern CT.
October 05, 2009 - 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?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, Shaded Privacy Hedge for Wakefield RI
September 12, 2013 - We recently removed the dead undergrowth of white pines that were used for privacy. We need advice as to what type of evergreen would be suitable for growth beneath the branches above. It is VERY shad...
view the full question and answer

Protecting guavas from deer
August 06, 2007 - I have large guavas that the deer love to tear up rubbing their new antlers. When do I need to re-cover the plants with anti-deer nets to be sure to get ahead of them? One night too late and they ar...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.