Evergreen seedlings - size required to fend off deer?
We live on a wooded lot, and "dear neighbor" on our north side cut down a ton of trees last year, exposing her "car dealership" style lighting on her house and driveway. A major project for this coming year will be to plant evergreens to shield her out....eventually. We realize it won't happen overnight. Also, we want to make it look like a natural evergreen barrier, not a row of arborvitae toy soldiers. We will need to mix varieties and stagger the plantings in a random pattern.
1. The area where we need to plant these trees is along an established deer path (too large to fence in, so fencing is not an option)
2. Water source will need to be super long hoses from the house to aid in getting trees established, about 100 feet.
3. I'd say it's a partial sun area, especially when the deciduous trees come out with their leaves.
3. We have a prized ornamental crabapple in the front, so I think cedars are out of the question due to cedar apple rust.
4. The larger, established evergreens are not only expensive (especially for the number that we'd need) but also, it would be extremely difficult to transport the large root balls up the hill, as well as hand dig the holes.
It looks like the Arbor Day Foundation sells several varieties that I would consider planting, and the prices can't be beat, given the quantity we will need to plant. However, the size of the seedlings are only 6"-12"....babies!
Question: Is it even worth trying to plant these, or am I simply planting bite-sized hors d'oeuvres for the deer? I am willing to risk losing about 25% of what we plant if the other seedlings are likely to make it.
Alternatively, Is there anything we could do to protect the mini seedlings from the deer, or, do we not need to worry if the variety is considered deer resistant (I know....nothing truly is!), for example, Norway Spruce.
We would appreciate any insight from anyone who has tried little baby seedlings. Thank you!