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Tips to Keep Deer from Destroying Landscaping

Tips to Keep Deer from Destroying Landscaping

When it comes to your landscape, there are few things more disheartening than seeing the flowers you just planted chewed to stumps by deer – along with the other plants, trees and shrubs of your property. Or finding your groundcover crushed and uprooted, your shrub branches broken off, your tree bark shredded off – oh, deer… Just how can you keep deer from destroying your landscaping?

Yes, deer can wreak all sorts of havoc upon your landscape, not only eating your plants, but crushing them underfoot, debarking trees with their antlers or breaking off tree limbs or shrub branches in their wake. It’s a war waged throughout many communities in suburbia – landscape vs. deer. Here are some tips to help you out.

Choose Plants That Deer Don’t Like

Mind you, if hungry enough, deer will eat just about anything, but if you start out with unpalatable plantings, deer are less likely to come to your yard from the start. Steer clear of deer delights like geraniums, arborvitae, yews and lilies and go for plants that are distasteful to deer such as boxwood, lavender, lamb’s ear and dogwood.

Tips to Keep Deer from Destroying Landscaping

Tips to Keep Deer from Destroying Landscaping | Here is an example of damage from deer.

Good Fences Make for Good Deer-Proofing Your Landscaping

Barrier methods, such as fences, are still the most effective way to keep deer away from your property and gardens. There are a variety of fencing options available that can be suitable, including high tensile wire and woven mesh with metal posts to more traditional fencing options. Keep in mind that deer fencing should be at least 7-8 feet in height. A frightened deer can clear an 8 foot fence in a single leap. Also be aware of the slope of your property. You may have areas that will need higher fencing (10 or 11 feet) if your property slopes downward. Make sure your fencing goes all the way to the ground otherwise deer will attempt to crawl underneath. Finally, the height of your gate should be equal to the height of your fence.

Continuous maintenance is also critical in ensuring your fence’s effectiveness. Broken areas and openings are just invitations as far as deer are concerned.

Protect Specific Plants From Deer

Sometimes it’s just easier or more cost effective to protect a particular plant, shrub or tree from the deer rather than try to barricade your entire property. Trunk protectors can safeguard young trees, and various types of netting and fencing can be utilized to form a protective barrier around individual plantings.

A Word About Deer Repellants

There are a ton of deer repellant options available, and as many variable opinions as to whether or not they actually work. Of all the steps to take to prevent deer from dining on your plantings, this is probably the least effective. Regardless of that fact, because it is also relatively low-cost and easy to do, many people try some form or another even as an adjunct to other deer repellent methods.

Got a deer problem? Call or email us here at Farmside Landscape & Design. We can come out to your property, assess your landscape & plantings, and devise a plan for you that will help you co-exist with your deer neighbors.