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Deer Resistant Plants

Deer Resistant Plants

The Most Deer Resistant Plants (pdf)

Deer will try most plants once if the plants are new to them or the deer are extremely hungry (as in the late winter months before new bud break). These plants are not guaranteed to be deer-proof but if browsed once or twice they should recover without need for replacement. Some of the plants listed will NEVER by browsed by deer and others will be browsed very infrequently.

Deer can also cause damage on small trees and large shrubs from rubs made in late summer, fall and winter. If a buck rubs a particular tree once it is most likely to get rubbed again. Deer rubs can girdle trees resulting in the death of the tree or they can severely disfigure landscape ornamentals. It is best to protect a rubbed tree from future rubs by creating a cage around the plant using stakes and strapping or 3 foot wire garden fence. This is a good idea for all newly planted trees (where there is a high deer population) since deer target trees under 4” in diameter.

Some Trees Are Prone To Deer Rubs: mainly softer bark trees

  • Japanese Maples
  • Spruces – most softer-needle varieties
  • White Pine
  • Gingko
  • Magnolias
  • Japanese Snowbell
  • Deodar Cedar and Atlas Cedar
  • Arborvitae and Japanese Cedars
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Redbud, 'Appalachian Red'


Redbud, 'Forest Pansy'


Redbud, 'The Rising Sun'


Dogwood, 'Rosy Teacups'


Dogwood, 'Appalachian Mist'


Dogwood, Variegated Chinese


Crape Myrtle, 'Natchez'

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