deer resistance revisited

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by shiraz dindar, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. shiraz dindar

    shiraz dindar Member

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    Location:
    Sooke, BC
    Greetings folks,

    My neighbour feeds the deer (approved by the local wildlife officer, apparently!) and living out in Sooke on Vancouver Island as I do, this means, *tonnes* of deer.

    Same neighbour have an eyesore gravel virtual parking lot behind their house, and I want to block the view with some hedges.

    Last year I went to my local nursery, who apparently specialize in deer resistant plants, and she recommended California Liliac (Victorian) both for its deer resistance and quick growth. A year later and the deer have eaten the hell out of them and they've barely grown even where the deer couldn't access them. So two of the main reasons I went with the california lilac proved wrong.

    Given the sheer number of deer, the proximity of the feeding location to the hedge location, and the fact that apparently deer will eat just about any plants, I've accepted the fact that that's just the way it is. So now I want to transplant these to a less deer-populated spot and replant something that, if less deer resistant, will at least grow faster, and then take alternate measures for the deer short of building a fence.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on plants that will grow fast and tall (min 10 feet) and thick enough to be called a hedge and are, say, at least *a little* deer-resistant?

    The planting location is a mix of sun and shade, fairly well-drained.

    Thanks y'all!

    Shiraz in Sooke
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Location:
    Ecuador SA Zone 12/13
    What zone is Sooke? That will help us determine which broadleafs could grow. For example, if you're in Zone 7 or higher, you could try Oleander. Of course, that will actually kill them, and if you just want them to stay away, you need to look at either evergreens or electicity.

    There are a number of evergreens that deer don't especially like (ie cedars, arborvitae), and you can always run an electified wire at about deer-height to discourage them from nibbling.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Those two are deer candy in many areas. Junipers might work, but I'd not rely on it.

    And sorry, no, Oleander wouldn't be reliably hardy in Sooke.
     
  4. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Location:
    ROME Italy zone9/b
    Robinia pseudoacacia,Rubus,Prunus spinosa...
    ciao
     
  5. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    I might suggest boxwoods (species or tall growing cultivars) - left unpruned they develop quite relaxed and natural shapes (perhaps in a composition w/other shrubs rather than a straight fence line if a more natural look is your goal). Combined with dwarf growing nandina such as "gulf stream" or "sunrise" (heavenly bamboo) is a nice combination. Several choices for a blended hedge that would discourage deer. Keep in mind, male deer can destroy shrubby material (springy branches) by using them for practice fighting or "sharpening" antlers! A lot more damage than just eating them -- and ceanothus is one of their favorites. Good luck!

    Wynn
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Another common name for ceanothus is deerbrush. But different kinds vary in their appeal. The web site of Monrovia nursery, a major supplier to local outlets indicates when plants are thought to be deer resistant. You might want to have a look at that - keeping in mind, as you have found that deer feeding behavior varies. Since this is to be a row of shrubs it might be comparatively easy to fence the deer out even if you aren't able to fence the entire garden (the only sure solution).
     
  7. shiraz dindar

    shiraz dindar Member

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    Location:
    Sooke, BC
    I just wanted to log in to thank you folks for your response. As circumstance would have it, I won't be planting til spring, but now at least I know what I'll be doing then. Again, many thanks. Around when I plant, I plan to come back here and let you know what I'm running with, then maybe every couple years logging back in to update on the status, so people in similar circumstances in the future will have an idea of how it worked out for me.

    Shiraz
     
  8. Anne Taylor

    Anne Taylor Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Victoria B.C.
    Hi Shiraz,
    I'm a neighbour ( I garden in Metchosin).... How badly are the ceanothus eaten? If you have put them in decent soil and kept them well watered over the last season, don't give up on them.... they will have been (albeit annoying) pruned considerably but the third year ceanothus almost always blast up into the 9'x9' beauties they can be. So... before you rip them out, consider putting up some netting on either side of the plants and let them come on a little. They need to get their root systems grown - then watch out ...I kid you not.
    The idea of a fence on either side confounds the deer nicely, double fencing is easier sometimes cause height doesn't matter so much. If the lilacs are toast, I have a number of deer resistant plants I can recommend, and big guys to boot. Let me know what sun/shade and ground conditions you have and I'll happily pass them along.
    Cheers,
    Anne Taylor
     
  9. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Beaverton, Oregon
    When we were in Applegate Valley near the OR / CA border, with lots of deer, Ceanothus seemed to escape their nibbling.

    Arizona Cypress too big? Not one nibble.
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Victoria Australia [cool temperate]
    Can I suggest some sort of barrier around the plants or behind them till they get going or electric wire along fence. This is the way I manage goats and I suspect they are nearly as bad as deer when it comes to eating what ever is available.

    Liz.
     
  11. tanoos

    tanoos Member

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    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
    Hello from salt spring, land of hungry deer. Viburnum seem to be "somewhat" deer resistant, and bamboo (clumping type) are as well. Junipers seem to work.
    A wooden fence is, of course, foolproof?

    Tony Macleod
     

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