Are you seeing deer damage this winter?

We have had numerous reports of deer damage on plants this winter. I’m posting in the hopes that I can cover some of the questions we are asked.

Most leafy types of plants will recover completely from deer browsing, but this is somewhat dependent on the plants age and it’s vigor.  If your plants are 25 years old, they may not come back as well as a 5 year old plant. Give them time to leaf out in the spring and judge them at that point before deciding to replace. If they are leafing out well, many types of plants will look great by midsummer. A chosen few that are slower growing, such as Burningbush, may taken more than one year to get to original size.

Evergreens that are browsed, typically arborvitae and sometimes yews, may or may not come back. Both types of plants are able to developed new growth points even if all the green growth has been chewed off. This recovery is also dependent on age and vigor. Evergreens take longer to recover, so expect a couple of years before they will be looking their best. If the plant happens to be right at an entrance to the house, and you are looking at it every day, this might be a plant to just go ahead and replace.  Spruce and Pine which are browsed will not typically form new growth on a stem that has had all it’s green growth and buds removed. If your plants are small and all the green growth is gone, now is the time to replace them.  Larger trees with just a few lower branches browsed should recover over time.

If you have any other questions regarding a particular plant, please give us a call and we can help.