Let em eat em

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)January 31, 2010

Any shrub suggestions that can easily recover from being eaten to the ground by rabbits?

I can't handle protecting ALL my shrubs anymore...they eat everything and anything. There isn't a single dang shurb that they won't eat!

Shrubs that seemed to go unphased by the rabbits are spirea and weigela. The eat em to a little stub and the shrub comes back bigger the next year.

Any others?

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ginkgonut(4)

Here's my list. These have all grown back after winter browsing, but the rabbits also take out the flowers buds on some of these:

Aronia
Cornus
Cotinus
Potentilla
Azalea
Tree Peony
Japanese Maple
Kolkwitzia
Tsuga
Fothergilla
Salix

Pines and spruces are different. They can be pretty badly damaged, perhaps deformed, by the rabbits.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 5:29AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

By winter browsing do you mean they nibble on some branches or do they take it down to a stub sticking out of the ground?

Aronia, Azalea and Fothergilla would be devastated if it was taken down to the ground, they are super slow growing around here.

Most of the shrubs I worry about are the ones 4' or less...these beasts take down a 4' Weigelia in 2-3 nights.

For whatever reason the rabbits do leave Cornus alone.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:42PM
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ginkgonut(4)

Those have all been taken down to the ground and/or snow line in my yard and have all grown back quite quickly, even the Azaleas and the Fothergilla which I now protect. I tore out the Aronias, not worth the effort to protect.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 6:49AM
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felisar

I have northern bayberry (myrica pennsylvanica) that are not eaten by either deer or rabbit. Other shrubs that are not eaten in my yard but could easily recover if they were munched on are itea virginica (sweetspire) and cornus racemosa (gray dogwood).

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:44AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Both northern bayberry (myrica pennsylvanica) and itea virginica (sweetspire) are on my wishlist, I may consider those. How big is your northern bayberry? The ones I saw in Chicago were 6' tall...planted 15 years ago, based on the tag.

I do protect my Fothergilla and Azaela and will continue to do so...don't want to take the chance with those.

You and I are on the same page, I feel like the Aronias are not worth saving...they have been a disappointment for me...in regards to growth and habit...the fall color, flowers and berries are very nice though. I'll just leave em for now..if they don't rebound this year, I will remove them.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 12:32PM
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scot(z5)

i have the space, so i planted a food plot for the vermin (deer and rabbits) to aid in keeping them out of my real stuff. i also have a large stand of some kind of wild dogwood that they really go for. so until the snow got too deep they were really going for the rape and turnips i planted, and i know this will be unpopular, but they dont niblle on a 22 for long. it got to the point last year that you could look out any window almost any time of day and see between 5 to 10 rabbits,,i am all for sharing, but they even tore into my cactus bed last winter and it took me tons of copper to eliminate the fungi infections there damage created, and almost all summer for most of the species to get back to where they were. try going to a hunting store and buy some fox or coyote urine and spray it on your prized things every week or so through the hardest part of winter

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 7:26PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I have to monitor all my plants...I do a full circle from one end of the house to other looking out the windows everyother morning.

They seem to be going for my koreanspice viburnum now...those little weasels!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 7:34PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Black plastic netting works great, is relatively easy to put on,take off (hint: hold it on with clothespins), and store in big plastic bags for reuse.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 6:20AM
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jaco42(z5NEOhio)

whaas, not to be nosey, but have you considdered getting an outside cat?Mine lives in the garage with access to the outside via a cat door, haven't seen a rabbit in years.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 9:08AM
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