Yes, deer do eat arborvitae, also known as the Northern White Cedar or Eastern White Cedar. Arborvitae is a popular ornamental tree species known for its attractive evergreen foliage, making it a popular choice for gardeners, landscapers, and property owners. However, with its popularity comes the inevitable question: are arborvitae trees susceptible to deer browsing? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.
How do deer affect arborvitae trees?
Deer have a significant impact on the health and growth of arborvitae trees. They nibble on the foliage, stems, and branches, leaving behind unsightly stubs and creating an opening for disease and pests to invade. This can weaken the tree and reduce its overall health, causing it to become more susceptible to disease and other environmental factors. In severe cases, deer browsing can kill the tree.
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What are the effects of deer browsing on arborvitae trees?
The effects of deer browsing on arborvitae trees can be significant, and the longer the tree is exposed to deer browsing, the more damaging the effects will become.
The first sign of deer browsing is the presence of broken or missing branches. This is often accompanied by a loss of foliage, particularly in the lower and middle portions of the tree. This can reduce the tree’s overall health, causing it to become more susceptible to disease and other environmental factors.
Another effect of deer browsing is the stunting of the tree’s growth. The tree will not grow as tall or as full as it would have if it were not exposed to deer browsing. This can also cause the tree to become more susceptible to disease, as the weakened tree is unable to fight off harmful organisms.
Can you protect arborvitae trees from deer browsing?
Protecting arborvitae trees from deer browsing can be a challenge, but there are several strategies that can help reduce the damage caused by deer.
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One of the most effective ways to protect arborvitae trees from deer browsing is to use physical barriers such as deer fences or tree tubes. These barriers can be placed around the tree to keep deer away from the foliage and branches.
Another option is to use deer repellent sprays. These sprays contain a scent that deer find unpleasant, and they will avoid trees that have been treated with the spray.
Finally, you can also try planting alternative vegetation that deer prefer over arborvitae. For example, planting shrubs or bushes that deer find more appealing can help reduce the damage caused by deer browsing.
Arborvitae trees are a popular choice for gardeners, landscapers and property owners, but their popularity also makes them susceptible to deer browsing. The effects of deer browsing on arborvitae trees can be significant, and the longer the tree is exposed to deer browsing, the more damaging the effects will become. However, there are several strategies that can help reduce the damage caused by deer, including physical barriers, deer repellent sprays, and planting alternative vegetation.
In conclusion, while deer eating arborvitae is a common problem, there are steps that you can take to protect your trees and keep them healthy. Whether you choose to use physical barriers, deer repellent sprays, or alternative vegetation, taking the time to protect your arborvitae trees will ensure that they remain healthy and attractive for years to come.