The Q&A Archives: Deer Ate Shrubs

Question: Durning the winter the deer ate at my shrubs; will they rebud or will I have to replant?

Answer: I know how upsetting it can be to find deer damage!

Unfortunately, I can't give you a definitive answer without knowing what kind of shrubs they ate. However, most established shrubs can survive a winter deer browse. You might want to give the shrubs a little extra care this growing season, such as ensuring they receive adequate water, to help them regrow and recover faster. Some shrubs, such as azaleas, may have lost their flower buds for this spring but they should still leaf out and grow back and bloom normally next year.

You might want to take steps to keep the deer away from the shrubs in the future, though, if they suffer repeated damage. Eventually either the damage is so severe the shrubs can't recover or they simply become unsightly.

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