True deer resistance

adidas(6/7)May 5, 2014

Could you tell me which trees/shrubs/ you have found to be truly deer resistant? I am in Northern VA and am trying to add some (native) variety to an area populated almost entirely by spice bushes, tulip poplars and the occasional redbud. I recently tried to add some amelanchiers (serviceberry) trees, fringe trees, aruncus (goat's beard), witch hazel, fothergillas. Out of these the deer do not seem to have touched the witch hazels or the fothergillas...I believe these species are distantly related...maybe that explains it? However, the amelanchiers, fringe trees and aruncus have all been chewed to some extent...I guess the deer have not been reading the lists that claim they shouldn't be chewing on these unless they are starving which they certainly are not around here!!!!

So could you tell me what, if anything, you have been able to grow w/out interference from deer?

I'd also been interested in perennials you've had luck with. On this property they've eaten bloodroot, ginseng, trilliums, violets, joe pyeweed, amsonia.

Bluebells, milkweed, black and blue cohosh, and rues have been the only rejected species.

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surprises me about the trillium as they do not touch mine (or the bloodroot)! violets? really?

It is possible I have so many other things they PREFER that they leave those things alone.
They do not eat Hellebores, sarcoccoca, nandina, pieris, mahonia, daphnephylum, aconitum, polygonatum, (maybe a little), wood poppies, hakon grass. They do not eat my amsonia or joe pye weed.
Believe me, I feel for you>>>I have totally given up on hostas and dalylillies. I spray some favorites and it does help.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 6:59AM
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From what I can tell, common buckthorn appears to be completely unpalatable to deer! Of course, I wish that weren't so.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:49AM
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Forgot to mention>>.any type of ferns

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:16AM
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I must have the herds from hell! Ferns you say? These animals decimated my ebony spleenworts in one night! I bought 2 Trillium luteum. Two yrs in a row they've been chewed! The ginseng was bitten....the amsonia? It's supposed to be toxic w/it's latex sap (similar to Asclepias) HAH! I know the bloodroot is chewed because though the woods here are full of them, there are specific ones growing near the trilliums that I am well acquainted with and as soon as they come up, their leaves are gone! Even the honey locusts w/their thorns are attacked!

I did plant some Aesculus parviflora that has not been touched and so far they haven't noticed the Henry's Garnet...but oh, they will any day now I'm sure!!!

Thank-you for your suggestions but I am trying to stick to natives...maybe I should be asking for a list of extremely toxic species to plant :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:20PM
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That's the one invasive we are free from here but I bet I know why! The deer have already eaten them :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Amending to add: last night they ate the flowers off the fothergilla and bit the top off the witch hazel....probably revenge for my covering what was left of the amelanchiers :(

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 8:33AM
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Adidas and all,

If they are hungry, they will eat anything. Yes, I have lost many bloodroots, Trilliums, anything in the lily family, and this year many ferns.

Any new and tender item that I don't cover will get tasted...azaleas, Iliciums, Viburnums, Magnolias, etc....nip the top off.

Last season they helped keep the late fall blooming plants shorter by nipping at the new growth early in the season...rather helped, since we had rain (finally!) and the plants still grew to 14' instead of the normal 10'.

Spraying works for me if I remember to apply about every month. Next door neighbor has helped by shooting quite a few. I have to admit that I hate that. We are in the woods, so there is really enough out there for them without hitting my special plants, but I guess my plants are like easy candy for them.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Unbelievable they eat your ferns! I even have T lutea way down in the woods where they cross through and iThey are untouched. I must have enough other stuff they like better>>>hosta, day lilies, azalea, Rhodes, etc, but they have never touch a fern and I have tons. Christmas, autumn. Holly, maiden, cinnamon, ostrich, lady, button etc

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 2:30PM
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There're just way too many deer. Period. We've got the crybabies and other assorted rednecks in this state who have been whining for years, usually something along the lines of "the d*mn DNR is killing off all the deer". Well, it's complete and utter nonsense. Counted 37 in a field up by my land the other day, fat and happy and ready to consume more vegetation. And this after a harsh winter that was supposed to have potentially decimated the herd. I'd have to say not! The ground in our cedar swamp is very nearly 100% composed of deer prints. This place is crawling with them. I swear, some of the "sportsmen" feel they are owed a nice, big buck every time deer season comes around. They don't want to have to work for it. They drag with their 4-wheelers, they hunt from platforms, sometimes with heaters and other comforts of home, it's really a joke in my opinion. Meanwhile, foresters like myself have to come up with ever-increasing means of protecting our young stock. The whole thing is off-balance.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:59AM
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