Answer: Hibiscus syriacus is usually not bothered by animals although deer will eat the blooms and tender new growth occasionally. It could be a deer rubbing its antlers on it, or it might be a rabbit girdling the stems by eating the bark. This can be serious threat to the health of the plant -- if bark is stripped off all the way around or even partway around a branch, it will die. I would suggest you try encircling the plant in wire mesh to try to prevent their access to it. If it could be rabbits, also direct the wire outward flat along the ground and cover it with gravel so they can't tunnel under it quite so easily. I hope this helps!
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