The Q&A Archives: Deer and Eastern Redbud

Question: I planted three Eastern Redbud tress in my back yard yesterday and woke up this morning to find that two were basically defoliated. I assume it was deer, but I thought Redbud were pretty deer resistant.

Are Redbud succeptible to deer damage?
Do you have a recommended deer repellant?


Fred Stults

Answer: Redbud are native to North America and therefore considered not particularly appealing to deer. However, a hungry deer will eat almost anything and the larger the deer population, the more competition there is for food. So, although Redbud are not usually bothered by deer, it seems as though the herd found your new trees. You could try some of the commercial repellents which smell/taste bad to deer, or try a homemade one based on garlic and/or pepper. Some gardeners report success using soap (Irish Spring bars) hung from trees. You could also try caging off the plants with wire mesh. In my own sad experience, the only really reliable long term solution is a very tall fence.

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