Return to the Shrubs Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Redtwig dogwoods and deer

Posted by smord NJ z6 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 8, 10 at 16:56

I'm considering putting in a hedge of redtwig dogwoods (thinking of cornus alba although I'm open to info on the other two sereccea??? and sanguina) to define the property line between my yard and the neighbor's yard. I know there are many downsides to hedges, but I definitely want one as it makes the statement "I Am A Fence".

I want to it just be green and boring during the summertime so my border can shine, and be nice massed show of red in the winter.

I know the deer will definitely pick at it. my question - how well will the hedge hold up? My understanding is that redtwigs benefit from being pruned hard on an annual basis, so some munching is fine - but will the deer totally decimate them?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 8, 10 at 20:37

Liable to clip the leaves and new growth during the growing season.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

Shrub dogwoods are typically considered deer resistant (not deer proof - very little is :-)). Cornus sericea is native to much of the US and native stands in my area seem to be to be pretty much immune from predation. And it's a pretty tough, adaptable plant. Non-variegated forms don't have a lot to say for themselves in season but are stunning in winter, especially against a snowy backdrop.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 8, 10 at 21:32

Deer love cornus alba in my area...they are considered salad.

The funny thing is that cornus alba is considered deer resistant beyond local sources.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

Actually a few of my fellow gardening enthusiasts and I have considered starting a non-profit to improve literacy rates among deer so they can READ the deer-resistant-plant lists we make.

That's one of the downsides of a single-plant hedge-- if the deer happen to like that plant that year.....no hedge.

I suppose it's ok if they clip the new growth sometimes as long as it's not all the new growth all the time.


 o
Alba vs sericea vs sanguina

What is the advantage of alba over sericea and vice versa?


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

The three - alba, sericea and sanguinea - are quite similar in appearance, hardiness and adaptability to various sites. C. sericea is slightly hardier than the other two but not significantly so. It is also native to many parts of the northern US, so that could prove favorable. Otherwise, I'd select based on availability and specific characteristics, like size, stem color, variegation (or not), etc. In my climate, selections of sanguinea are often subject to leaf blights or cankers, alba much less so and sericea virtually not at all. Sanguinea is supposed to be more tolerant of alkaline soils also.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 9, 10 at 12:28

"extremely important winter browse for moose, deer and elk"

--Pojar/Mackinnon, Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (1994, B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing)


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

I plant the native, Asian, and European ones here in NE with no noticeable difference in performance.

In general for RTs the percieved color is typically burgundy with the variegated ones having less spectacular color. The burgundy color in dim winter light takes on a dark appearance, and not the bright red ideal in mind when planning the garden. The dark burgundy can appear washed out or hidden amid the typically winter hues found in the landscape A few grey twigs in the mix or around it will help to show the contrast and call out the coloration. The RT do look there best on a sunny winter day, and a contrasting evergreen backdrop also provides a nice color contrast. Another dogwood to consider is the yellow twigs and the newer cultivars (my favorite winter flame) with mixes of red/yellow.

Planting the border with some depth also will help to increase the twig density to make it stand out more.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

interestingly, the red twig color is most vibrant for me in late March, early April.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 12, 10 at 18:13

I like the way 'Cardinal' shows up. But I also like the darkness of 'Kesselringii'.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

The deer 'pruned' our red twig the first year, but it came back ok throughout the summer. The second winter, they ate it to the ground - it didn't come back.
Pam


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 26, 10 at 10:39

Like I mentioned, they love em in my area.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

Deer eat red twig dogwoods, if you don't mind a short fence.


 o
RE: Redtwig dogwoods and deer

  • Posted by artdeco 5 - Chicago NWburbs (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 8, 10 at 10:39

Sanguina - mine are very prone to leaf & twig disease. Once it's established it grows very fast & tall, sends out alot of runners that need to be dug-out & is a maintenance issue for me. If I didn't cut them back 3x/yr they'd be >12'h w/ gray trunks. No critters chew on this one, but I plan to dig them out soon. The amazing stem color is not worth the chemicals & labor. Plus, this type has tiny t-shape hairs on the leaves that stick in your skin & feel like nettles - some people are more sensitive than others - but I need long sleeves to trim this dogwood.

Alba & redtwig - Both deer & rabbits, & maybe foxes chew on them. They prefer alba, then move to the redtwig. It was difficult to get a good balanced shape to the shrubs, as the rabbits go for the thin colored stems coming up from the base. In winter the snowdrifts allows them to cut the stems 24" up - in spring they cut at the base. I moved a redtwig to a sheltered but dry spot for the rabbits, & now it's only 3'h, but 5'w due to their goofy pruning, & just noticed it's suffering cuz something dug a nest/hole at it's base & alot of roots are exposed.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Shrubs Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here