They're Eating Everything!

dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)January 20, 2013

I can't believe what the @#$@#!! deer are eating this winter! They've gone through the Viburnum Davidii, Fatsia, some rhodos, heathers almost everything I planted on the unfenced portion of our property. They are now eating all of the leaves off my epimedium. They are not eating the Choysia, leucothoe or barberry. The lawn is looking quite tatty with all of the bits they are pulling up while grazing. It's going to look very sparse around here in the summertime. I tried to only plant things on the "resistent" list so am quite disappointed in this. Sigh. No hunting allowed in our area.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Typical scenario when they are not effectively fenced out. You cannot depend on anything except this kind of exasperation when they have access to your plantings.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 1:25PM
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In any one year, any one (or more) deer (or squirrels, birds) will eat anything once (or more times).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:02PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I set up a trail cam a few weeks ago and the first pictures were of a couple of elk. Not too happy about that. They can do serious damage. One bull a few years ago trashed a Korean Fir I had by rubbing it with his antlers.
The deer do a little damage here and there, but it's mostly nibbling the ends of branches of the Japanese Maples and Chinese Dogwoods as they pass through. I sure don't want my place to be their destination garden. Not growing veggies anymore helps a little.
No shooting area here also.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 8:35AM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I find even local fencing 5' tall to be effective, or wire circles around individual plants. Beds with stakes and obstacles in them have not been jumped into even if 5' tall, or areas where they don't seem to feel they have enough area to land or take off. I typically add 8' bamboo poles to the fencing on larger vegetable beds and run wires around at 8' and intervals down, and have bamboo stakes in rows inside. But last year I left the gate open and they came in and ate my whole row of squash plants, just starting to bloom. My fault.

I sympathize, last year for the first time in 19 years here deer cropped off all my unfenced formerly safe blooming Trilliums, plus a large clump of hardy geraniums. Rabbits ate many of my young bean plants, and they were getting in to my fenced beds.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 5:36PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I've never seen them eat stuff like they are this year. They are now eating the leucothoe. My Vibirnum Davidii are stripped. One year they ate all of the wild easter lilies (erythronium)and I expect they will be on to those again this year. It is interesting to see which Rhodies they eat and which ones they leave alone. They are even eating the fatsia. We just have too darned many and not enough cougars. I appreciate the sympathy, it's discouraging. bboy: fencing isn't at all practical here unless I want to fence off a stockade around the house. Hemnancy, I am working to have a small area that they can't get into and appreciate your suggestions. I don't think there is a single solution.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Always some practical deer stuff on the Fruit & Orchard forum.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:46PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Thanks for the link Larrygene. sigh. there isn't a magic solution for overpopulated bambies. In the summertime, I used an electric fence and I'm going to do that again next spring but I don't think it would work in the winter when they are really hungry. Maybe I should just pave the whole thing. Totally frustrated in Duncan.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Sprinkle a little blood meal on the leaves and other parts of the plants that you don't want them to eat. Repeat again every 1-2 months or when you see signs that they are nibbling again. Might take a little more initially to break them of the habit, one of the key things is to keep them from making your yard part of their regular route.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:16AM
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charleney(8a PNW)

The only thing that has worked for me, was at least a 7 ft. fence. Believe me, I tried it all; and shed a lot of tears over my roses. We thought we were being pretty smart by putting the fence up about 4", so that we could weedeat around without interference. Hah! Yah right! They were laying on their side getting under it. Wouldn't have believed it until I saw it with my own eyes. Don't fool around anymore. We also put a hot wire on braces above it. No problem in about 5 yr. now!..We also put up some of the plastic deer fencing above it; and now it is 11' tall. Please have good luck!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:32PM
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