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Protect Arborvitaes From Deer Damage

Jenn Smith

Posted on October 28 2019

One of the most common complaints among gardeners is deer in gardens; and it's not just about them eating flowers, fruits and veggies. Deer love shrubbery and sweet-tasting conifers such as arborvitaes; and they will indulge on the leaves of the trees if given the opportunity. When growing arborvitaes in late fall-early winter, remember to keep deer at bay using these techniques:

Rock Gardens

Some growers use rocks to modernize the look of their gardens; however, this approach is also a good call for gardeners who wish to rid deer and keep them away from arborvitae trees. Deer have trouble walking on the stones; and growers should expect to see less deer on yards throughout the year with garden rocks that can be found at local hardware stores.

Deer Fencing

Building deer fence is easy and can be done over a weekend. Deer fencing must be 7.5 to 8' feet high in order to see a reduction of deer on properties. There are many types of fence on the market for yards; but the best type of fence for deer deterrence is made from plastic or steel construction.

Deer Repellents

Many gardeners are quick to turn to deer repellents for help keeping away deer because of their low price tag; however, they are not as effective in keeping away deer as yard fencing. The reason for this is that repellents lose their "magic touch" after several weeks of extreme heat, rain and snow. The maintenance of deer repellent use is much higher than fencing - since fencing lasts 10-30 years outside. Repellents for deer resistance should be considered as secondary layers of protection. 

Planting Deer-Resistant Flowers

Growing garlic, marigolds, sage, thyme, and daffodils are a good idea for re-routing deer away from arborvitae plants. Deer hate the taste and smell of these flowers and herbs and will stay clear of other plants.