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Deer tolerant evergreen privacy hedge

Posted by indiana627 NY zone 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 7, 13 at 13:03

We are looking to plant some evergreens that will grow into a nice privacy hedge. Problem is there are lots of deer in our neighborhood so we need something that will be as deer tolerant as possible (if not deer resistant). We had arborvitaes at our old house where deer weren't a problem and are looking to duplicate that look. But seeing arbs in our new neighborhood we realize the deer love eating the bottom 5-6 feet of them. We don't want that. We found green giant arborvitaes that are supposed to be deer tolerant. Does anyone have any experience with them?

We really don't need them to get 50' tall x 20' diameter though. Could we prune them once they got to about 10-12' tall in order to keep them at that height? Would that damage or kill them?

Or is there another deer tolerant evergreen we should look at?

Thanks for the help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Deer tolerant evergreen privacy hedge

Deer resistant is hard to find. I have not seen a conifer that they won't eat. I saw my sister's spruce and pine eaten, and deer don't bother mine. How about looking into Holly selections? Maybe somebody with experience with holly and deer will chime in. Mine have not been bothered here, but they have so much more to eat like my oak buds and hickory leaves.


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RE: Deer tolerant evergreen privacy hedge

Deer tastes vary because the evergreen selections will expand from north to south. So that in colder zones, the selection is narrower and deer can't be finicky eaters. Blue Princess is relatively safe in Zone 7 and they never eat my Japanese holly, Inkberry, or Nellie Stevens! Cephalotaxus (plum yew) in my zone is supposed to be avoided by deer and is offered as a substitute for the true Yew (which they love), but they have at least trimmed the Plum Yew--maybe enough to realize that they don't like it--this winter it was untouched. Rhododendrons don't get touched by me, but are eaten in colder zones. I have a hedge of clumping, Fargesia bamboo (non-aggressive) that they never eat but don't think they grow in zone 5. What about boxwoods?--They hate boxwood, and Cherry Laurel, so too with Barberry--though I hate that one too! It really is trial and error though and learning about local deer tastes. Should not stop you from having a beautiful yard though. I know because I literally live in the deer crossing (an active one at that). Good luck!


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RE: Deer tolerant evergreen privacy hedge

Deer love the Blue Princess/Prince hollies as my neighbors and I can attest. They sucked off every single leaf on my three shrubs. They also love inkberries.

The fact is that deer eat almost everything. I have heard they don't eat boxwood but don't know myself. However, boxwood has many other problems so there really is no answer for an evergreen hedge. I have the same problem.


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RE: Deer tolerant evergreen privacy hedge

Again, it really does depend on where you are--location, location, location! IF there are other options, they will leave holly alone. What problems does Boxwood have?


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RE: Deer tolerant evergreen privacy hedge

They don't eat boxwood. They also don't eat bamboo, though there are a lot of people locally who think it is only a matter of time before they decide bamboo is edible.

Holly they definitely eat. They also will nibble red cedar, and decimate anything planted as a Christmas tree.


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RE: Deer tolerant evergreen privacy hedge

This isn't evergreen, but makes a nice hedge that deer don't eat here..........cotoneaster lucidis.
I don't have a hedge of it yet, but plan to replace my grossly pruned Arbs.
Just google it.


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