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Avatar for mamamango83
Jun 5, 2020 1:30 PM CST

Hi all. I'm brand new to planting/gardening and recently overhauled an overgrown and neglected berm on my property. I live in Wisconsin, zone 5. About 10 days ago, I planted an Ivory Halo Dogwood shrub. It seemed to be doing well (new leaves and flowers were blooming). Last night we had a strong thunderstorm. This morning I noticed many leaves had fallen off and it looks really bare. Should I be concerned? Any advice on how to proceed is much appreciated. Gardening has been therapeutic but now I have plant anxiety! Pictures are before and after. (Top pic is after) Thanks!

**Update: Did some research and now I'm wondering if deer got to it. There weren't a ton of leaves at the base of the shrub, which I would have expected had the rain been the culprit... at the same time, I thought maybe the leaves were washed away by the rain? Now I'm thinking that deer may munched on it.

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Last edited by mamamango83 Jun 5, 2020 4:01 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for porkpal
Jun 5, 2020 9:19 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
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I think you are right about the deer. It may need some protection until it grows a bit taller.
Porkpal
Avatar for mamamango83
Jun 6, 2020 9:15 PM CST

Thanks for your input, Porkpal. I will be using some sort of deer repellant going forward.
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Jun 6, 2020 10:54 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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I think that's a 30.06...

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Jun 12, 2020 8:12 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
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Propably eaten yes since the petioles are still attached to the stems.
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Jun 16, 2020 2:39 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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A very warm Welcome! to the forum @mamamango83!

Now, to your question:
If it were deer, there would be nothing left of your plant (no leaves left). When they like something, they finish the job (finish eating the leaves), unless being scared away.

Unfortunately (I say unfortunately because it is very unfortunate for my plants Hilarious! ) I've had too much experience with deer lol, so I would know. Over 12 of my plants have been killed due to deer mowing them down.

So, unless they tried it and they didn't like it, and they stopped munching, it would seem that there is another problem.

But it probably isn't that some deer tried it and didn't like, because they will recognize right away whether they don't like it or not, and there are quite a few leaves gone off your shrub.

As to what your problem is, I'm not sure, but as long as nothing else happens to it, I believe it will be fine. Smiling

Also, what is your location/zone? That would probably help us a lot.

Thanks, and let us know if anything else happens!
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
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Last edited by KFredenburg Jun 16, 2020 2:40 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for mamamango83
Jun 17, 2020 6:23 AM CST

Arico- Thanks for the new terminology (petioles)! Are you saying that if it was something other than an animal the petioles would be gone? Thanks in advance.

Kim- Thanks for the insight. I'm from Wisconsin, Zone 5. So, I noticed that between two of my sedum plants (Bundle of Joy), about 7 flowers were missing as well. They were taken clean off. I have applied Liquid Fence deer and rabbit repellant and have noticed no new activity in the past 9 days. Leaves on my dogwood are slowly growing back. Hoping for the best!
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Jun 17, 2020 8:08 AM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
mamamango83 said:Arico- Thanks for the new terminology (petioles)! Are you saying that if it was something other than an animal the petioles would be gone? Thanks in advance.

Kim- Thanks for the insight. I'm from Wisconsin, Zone 5. So, I noticed that between two of my sedum plants (Bundle of Joy), about 7 flowers were missing as well. They were taken clean off. I have applied Liquid Fence deer and rabbit repellant and have noticed no new activity in the past 9 days. Leaves on my dogwood are slowly growing back. Hoping for the best!


Not nessecarily, but if the leaves were blown off as you first suggested, the whole leaf - including petiole - would be gone since that is where the abcission layer forms in autumn (and allows the leaf to drop off). So unless they're big and flimsy/thin leaves like for instance Magnolia, I wouldn't expect the leaf blade to tear in strong winds and leave the petiole attached.
Besides, if you were a deer, wouldn't you choose to just eat the juicy leaf and leave the hard stringy petiole behind? Sticking tongue out
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Jun 17, 2020 8:55 AM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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mamamango83 said:Arico- Thanks for the new terminology (petioles)! Are you saying that if it was something other than an animal the petioles would be gone? Thanks in advance.

Kim- Thanks for the insight. I'm from Wisconsin, Zone 5. So, I noticed that between two of my sedum plants (Bundle of Joy), about 7 flowers were missing as well. They were taken clean off. I have applied Liquid Fence deer and rabbit repellant and have noticed no new activity in the past 9 days. Leaves on my dogwood are slowly growing back. Hoping for the best!


Well, if they're targeting succulents, it could very well be squirrels. They really like the flowers of succulents, but they also just like succulents in general. I had to throw away two of my beautiful succulents this year due to the darn squirrels!

Whatever the problem is, I wish the best of luck for you!
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Last edited by KFredenburg Jun 17, 2020 8:56 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for mamamango83
Jun 29, 2020 7:34 AM CST

KFredenburg said:

Well, if they're targeting succulents, it could very well be squirrels. They really like the flowers of succulents, but they also just like succulents in general. I had to throw away two of my beautiful succulents this year due to the darn squirrels!

Whatever the problem is, I wish the best of luck for you!


Good to know about the squirrels. Thank you for your input!
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Jun 29, 2020 9:16 AM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Annuals Houseplants Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Peppers Seed Starter
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No problem! Green Grin!
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
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