Dealing with Unwanted Dinner Guests in Your Landscape
Posted: June 23, 2012
public, private park facility managers express frustration toward the prevalence of deer and the damage they cause through browsing and rubbing their antlers on prized landscape ornamentals throughout the year. Unfortunately, there are few simple solutions to preventing deer damage without eliminating deer completely, which is not an option.
In reality, deer management in the landscape will require an integrated pest management (IPM) approach including monitoring deer pressure and population, fencing or excluding deer from prized or highly sensitive areas, using repellents, and choosing less preferred plant species.
Deer are adaptive and are selective feeders. Choosing your plants carefully combined with using fences and repellents to prevent or reduce damage to your cherished ornamentals may be necessary. Understanding deer and their feeding habits may be helpful in planning your landscape with deer in mind.
Plants promoted as “deer resistant” often have common characteristics such as hairy, rough, or spiny stem and leaf texture, or the presence of aromatic compounds in the stems or leaves. For example, lavender and boxwood are considered aromatic plants, whereas lamb’s ear and oakleaf hydrangea possess leaf textures thought to be distasteful to deer.
For more information about preventing deer damage in your landscape and a list of rarely damaged plants visit the following website and download a free publication from Penn State University.