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Deer Damage in Landscape

Deer will do significant damage to landscape trees, shrubs and evergreens in late winter. As herbivores, they find vegetation scarce as winter drags on into the months of February and March. Plants that they generally would leave alone during the growing season when vegetation is abundant, are now significantly damaged.

Deer forage on trees or shrubs when food becomes less available in cold weather months. Hungry deer will eat evergreen leaves, dormant buds, plants, shoots, and saplings. Trees and shrubs can be completely stripped of buds or new growth.

There is really no “deer-proof” plant in late winter months, you cannot predict the behavior of hungry deer. The more desperate they become, the more likely they are to shift their attention to plants avoided in the past. That’s why some plants are viewed as “deer resistant” but not deer proof.

February and March is the time to inspect your landscape and to apply repellents to prized plants. Flowerland has a number of repellent choices available in our stores. Remember, as this video points out, prior to the emergence of vegetation and leaves in spring, the deer will continue to forage on evergreens and shrubs to find something to eat.


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