DEER TREES!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: September 15, 2023

Deer are mainly herbivores or plant eaters. They eat almost anything and everything that is a plant. Some plants seem to be tastier for deer than others. Even deer resistant plants, trees, and shrubs are targeted when deer are hungry. 

Ironically, hunters bait deer with cracked corn, which a deer will eat but can die from starvation when they eat it. Its not uncommon to find dead deer, with full bellies of corn, in the Winter. 

Keeping foraging and rutting deer out of your yard and garden is a multi-approach mission. There are some trees and shrubs that deer will target less. Here are some choices. There are many other varieties, depending upon where you live and what the growing seasons are. 

Serviceberry    These tasty berry producing trees are loved by humans and birds, but deer tend to leave them alone. 

Lilacs    This beautiful blooming bush makes great hedges, windbreaks, and screens. Deer will bed around them but rarely eat them.

Dogwoods     There are many varieties of dogwoods and for some reason, deer avoid them. I have seen however places where at least the buds get nipped off by browsers. Moose and elk especially seem to eat this holy tree. 

Spruces and pines    When deer and other browsers target pines and evergreens, they are starving, and this diet is near the last resort. 

Cedars    These dense and oily plants are hard to digest, and the fragrant berries seem to keep deer away. They also make great hedges, windbreaks, and durable screens. 

The only tree that I have never seen a deer eat is Sassafras. This fragrant tree has oil in the bark and roots that smell like root beer. Occasionally a buck may try to rub their antlers on them, but the smell seems to discourage them.

These assorted plants are helpful but other strategies are also helpful. Consider electric fences, bags of human hair and other scent deterrents, sprinklers activated by motion sensors, dogs, motion sensor lights, and deer proof fencing. 

Oh Deer!

Montana Grant 

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