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Arborvitae vs. Deer- will they recover?

Posted by mmqchdygg Z5NH (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 15, 09 at 11:48

I planted a row of 25 Arborvitae 2 seasons ago. The deer decimated them over the winter of 07/08, and they didn't do much of anything in the 08 growing season. Now they are mere sticks, but they aren't brittle.
Will they ever recover, and if so, about how long can I expect before they do? We're talking foot-tall babies here- from Park's Wholesale. I'm considering putting up some sort of repellent to keep them from being eaten anymore, but it doesn't look like the deer are even interested in them, anyway, now that there's no green on them.

Thoughts?


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RE: Arborvitae vs. Deer- will they recover?

If they're not eaten down to the quick, close to the trunk and beyond the last bud on each branch, there's some hope. If they're going to do any regenerating, you'll see tiny green starts once the season gets going. Deer shouldn't be browsing them too much longer - once their natural food gets a little more abundant. (Vain hope!) This was a bad winter and lots of things were ravaged they might not normally go for. If they're alive and worth saving, burlapping them this fall would be about the best strategy

Arborvitae are just deer candy - I have two that are too big to wrap/protect so they get browsed up to the 5-6' mark. They regenerate over the course of the growing season - but never reach the nice look they had before they were browsed. I have 5 more in an out of the way spot that look like 8' all day suckers. When I can think of a good and possible semi-resistant alternative, these are all going to go!

The deer didn't make any attempt to nibble my new 2' Black Hills Spruce which I didn't protect - must be the short spikey needles. I picked those up very inexpensively at one of the big boxes.


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