The Q&A Archives: Tree

Question: Thanks for getting back to me so quickly regarding my Captian Japanses Yew. You indicated that deer like to eat these. Any idea how I might protect these trees from the deer short of putting up a big fence?

Thanks again,
Tonya Dietsch

Answer: I think the big question is whether or not deer have found your yew and if so, are they regularly nibbling on it? Yew is not one of their favorites, so unless they are desperate, they probably won't bother it. If one nibbles on the foliage, it will probably search elsewhere for food. On the other hand, if your yew is the main target in your garden, fencing is probably the best option, followed by draping it with bird netting or hanging offensive things in it such as bars of soap or bags of hair from a barber shop. There are some liquid formulations (such as Deer-Away) that you can get at garden centers and spray on the foliage of your plants, so you might want to go in that direction. I guess the bottom line is that a hungry deer will eat almost anything and if it's hungry enough it will be brave enough to overlook the scare tactics and smelly barriers we try to employ.

Best wishes with your garden!

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