Deer-Resistant privacy shrubs/trees needed

psychmikeMarch 20, 2006

Deer-Resistant privacy shrubs/tree suggestions needed, Zone 6, shade, acid soil.

We are looking for suggestions for deer-resistant shrubs, hedges and trees that are fast-growing and provide good coverage for privacy.

We are in zone 6 and need suggestions both for shade and semi-shaded areas, with very acid soil (we are surrounded by lots of white pine).

We looked for wild local shrubs, but don't see anything growing around us that really covers enough to provide privacy -- e.g. there are mountain laurel and huckleberry.

We are looking for both shrubs that will fill out quickly, and taller plants that are also very full, for privacy. And fast-growing (or inexpensive-to-buy mature plants) would help!

We just built a house and although we tried not to cut down many of the trees around the house, we still ended up with a bedroom pretty close to the road with no trees or bushes to provide us with any privacy.

And there are things like neighboring fences, and sheds that we'd like to hide from our view.

So we need plants that are as full and wide as possible, and preferably 6-8 feet tall, and also some that are even taller (maybe 15 feet) and also as full as possible. And are deer-resistant!

Most are in semi-shady areas surrounded by nearby pine trees.

Any help appreciated!

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

First of all, you should realize that if deer have the run of a property, they will taste just about anything new that appears and some will develop a taste for plants that normally they would have little interest in. They're in the restaurant and they're going to try the entire smorgasbord.

That said, shrubs that normally don't interest deer include Viburnum, Pieris, Kalmia, Cotinus, Kerria, Aronia, deciduous hollies (Ilex), Spruce, Junipers, Lindera benzoin (native spicebush), Iteas, boxwood, Hamamelis, Chionanthus. Cultivars in this list range all the way from small (Iteas at about 3 feet) to large (Viburnum sargentii 'Susquehanna' at 15 feet).

Avoid hydrangeas, especially oakleaf; roses; Rose of Sharon; azaleas and rhododendrons; evergreen hollies, yews.

I would keep plants sprayed for at least the first season.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 7:41AM
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Thanks lacyvail. I will have to take a look at which of these I can get up here.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 8:32PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Psychmike, I mail order almost everything I buy, but it's getting pretty late to order for spring--my orders will begin arriving next week. Very reputable mail order nurseries for shrubs include Rare Find Nursery, Fairweather Gardens, Roslyn Nursery. They're not cheap though.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 7:41AM
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They have not touched my boxwoods or Rhody's. They stripped the azaleas which are right next to the Rhody's however.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 1:52PM
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They don't seem to be interested in the Rohdodendron around our area either.

I was about to buy some boxwood, since they cover so well, but someone said they are very slow-growing. Have other people found this to be the case?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 2:16PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Boxwoods are indeed very slow growing.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 7:36AM
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jtmacc99(z5/6 NY)

Are all boxwood's slow growing? I've seen some rather large "American" boxwood plants in stores, and they appear to be much faster growing than other types. I also noticed the leaves are a little different, which makes me wonder if they are as deer unfriendly as the ones already growing in my yard.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 10:58AM
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I've found sweet myrtle to be a good solution and better looking than wax myrtle. The deer do not touch either one and both are fast growers. Wax myrtle will tend to create thickets but sweet myrtle is more leafy and would provide great privacy. Also good are nandinas, Chinese mahonias, and viburnums. All these grow fast, like shade, aren't picky about soil, and so far (7 years) seem to be deer proof

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Need some hedges in zone 5, plenty of sun, poor soil, house newly erected in development ( you can dig 6" and still find the crap they left from construction). The area is very open with a water source where the deer drink (pond that was made as a water feature,
Help in Z5.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 10:10AM
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There are many mature Rohdodendrons around us, so I thought I was safe to plant them. We invested in 11 medium-sized of various color (blooms); it took more money, time, and effort than I care to remember. The deer devoured them suddenly a few months later. Only two survived (barely) and odddly enough they were the only two deep-purple flowered ones. Like anything else, if it is young and tender the deer will probably eat it while passing by the older, tougher of the same plant. If I try again, I will enclose the area in deer fencing for at least the first two years.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:04PM
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dominoswrath(5 WI)

With regard to the boxwood -

I have somewhat clayish soil, but it's still rich at least 18" deep. Boxwood do not grow slow in my opinion, and require very little care other than watering until they are established and pruning mid June for my zone.

I have one on the northeast corner of my house and it's monstrous and beautiful after just a few years - Green Velvet I believe. The boxwoods in the direct sun tend to grow a little slower, and more compact.

I have all three varieties - green mountain (great for hedging), green velvet (these mound nicely) and green gem for a nice tight compact ball OR you can also hedge these.

A house up the block facing east with full morning to mid day sun planted an entire row of the wee small ones you'd find at a box store about three years ago. This year, they've all grown together into a nice solid low hedge.

So, I think it depends on where you live and the growing conditions.

Boxwood can suffer from winterburn, so we do cover them with pine sprigs or burlap in the winter for those who get sun exposure.

So in my own experience, and I have them in all areas of my yard except full shade, and they thrive and grow at a moderate rate.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:35PM
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