Holly Cherry Bombs completely eaten

ShariqMirzaJanuary 13, 2014

Hi All, in November I planted about 12 Holly cherry bombs (2 galllon) in my backyard. Its a fenced backyard. I don't believe a deer can come in my backyard. I have never seen one. I do have a lot of rabbits.
We were on vacation this holiday and when we came back the Holly Cherry Bomb shrubs (at least 5 of them) have been COMPLETELY eaten (just the few branches is all that is left of the shrubs).
Can a Rabbit do that or is there a different animal like a squirrel doing it.
I don't believe a deer can get back in my back yard.
What can I do to save these or to replace them with something else that won't get chewed off like these shrubs?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

pix might help ...

a few branches left does not equate with completely eaten ....

.. you wait and see if they bud out... and save themselves... i cant think of anything you can do in that equation ... and if they do.. decide if you need military uniformity.. or can let them be ...

next ... look for tracks.. deer leave pretty deep tracks in friable soil ...

squirrels like to piss me off by cutting branches for nests.. but i dont think they eat things ... i would probably rule them out ...

rabbits... how high or low is the damage????

if you are in complete denial about deer... you might want to try your county extension office... and ask them if they are really as rare as you think .... perhaps there are more around than you think.. and until you planted these ... there was no reason to bother your yard ... see link for tracks and scat

i vote deer ... unless you have huge roaming gangs of rabbits ... they usually dont do such complete damage .... unlike a ravenous 100 pound plus bambi ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 2:44PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Deer. It isn't even a question. You have deer, and they like to eat things that stay green during the winter. They can also jump 10 foot mulch piles.

The holly may come back over the summer. If they do, you will have to plan to protect them next winter. That is assuming they are like my deer which are pretty reasonable during the summer, but turn into plant destroying monsters when the snow comes.

They don't eat boxwood. They would rather not eat juniper or spruce. They like yews more than holly, and will eat a surprising amount of rhododendron. If evergreen isn't a necessity, there are a lot of reasonable choices. Deciduous plants also seem to recover faster than evergreen.

Posts like this always remind me of a post from years (decades?) ago. Someone in Los Angeles wanted to know what sort of sick, depraved person would steal rose buds. Why would someone go to all the trouble of cutting off just the buds, then picking them up and taking them away? I took several posts to convince them it was done by an inhuman intelligence that thought the buds were tasty.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 6:09PM
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Is the damage from the top down or the bottom up? There's your answer. Deer would be top down on a plant that small, rabbits would be bottom up.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:57PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Rabbits cut the plant so sharply is looks as if it had been done with a newly sharpened pruner. Deer tear it roughly.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 6:46AM
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nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)

I've seen deer jump 7 ft fences from a standstill; 8 ft with a running start.

Unless your property is inside a prison yard, I think deer might be getting in :-)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 2:31PM
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