Do deer mow down blackberries with thorns

sheilawmbgMay 8, 2010

This may seem like a silly question. I already have a thornless blackberry but the deer keep eating the leaves and stems. It's so bad that it hasn't even had the opportunity to fruit. I was wondering if the deer will leave the thorned plants alone. I really love blackberries and would love to add more plants, but I really do not want to go to extreme measures to have them. Thanks for any information you can give.


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The new growth on even thorny varieties is palatable to deer.
Once the thorns have hardened up deer will still browse on the leaves which don't have the big thorns. They may even tear the leaves away leaving the leaf-stems behind. The big thorns on the vines do little to prevent the leaves from being eaten.
Deer are mostly interested in soft, new growth and tender leaves. Thorns do little to prevent this IMO.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:05PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

First year growth be eaten on by deer after plants gets 2 or 3 year old they almost stop eating plants don't know why but if wire protect one year it want be so bad later years. This answer I got when ask Gary Pense at Boston mountain nursery few years back work to T lol he did not tell later they eat berries ripe green and red 6 Deer get on one side 800 ft row three days be very few berries.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:26PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

The deer here never touch the blackberries, they much prefer roses. I think if you planted enough roses they would leave your blackberries alone. Al

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:31AM
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My deer prefer my thornless plants and rarely eat my thorny plants. I've got a Sylvan blackberry (which is covered in long thin thorns) that the deer don't touch, although my thornless are planted on the same trellis, so they've got a choice.

Plantskydd has worked really well for me in drastically reducing deer damage on my plants. If you've growing something as vigorous as Triple Crown, then just be vigilant for a season or two in spraying new shoots and the plant will get so huge that occasional nibbling won't do much harm.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:37PM
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Thank you to everyone that has responded. I think I will have to either fence in the blackberries or get a shot gun. I think the fence is a better idea for me. Although, I do have neighbors that would love for me to get a shotgun and reduce the deer population. I have 150 acres of dense forest behind my property and have deer in extreme numbers. I have lost many plants over the years. I learned long ago not to plant roses.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:17PM
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A fence is of course always the best option. My plantings are too spread out to fence everything without considerable expense, but I've got my strawberries and about 1/2 my raspberries fenced in with black plastic deer netting (zip tied to wire strewn between U-posts). I've also got a dog on a 5 AC invisible fence that protects a lot of my plantings during the growing season (I need to expand his fence to include my orchard, though). A single wire staked to the ground is obviously a lot cheaper than deer fencing when you've got a lot of ground to cover. The above, in combination with painting on Plantskydd during the winter to prevent rutting, has worked for me.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 1:47PM
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