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Reducing Deer Damage in Landscapes

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Originally posted by Charlotte Glen. Updated by Matt Jones 5/11/21

Deer browsing

Deer can cause serious damage to trees, shrubs and garden plants. Image credit: CC BY-SA 3.0

An attractive, healthy landscape can increase a home’s value, enhance sustainability, and improve quality of life for individual home owners and residents of the surrounding community.

All of your landscape work and investment can be ruined overnight if you do not select deer resistant varieties or take measures to protect plants from deer browsing. The most effective strategies to minimize deer damage in residential landscapes are the use of repellents, fencing, and plant selection to emphasize species deer prefer not to eat.

N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Chatham County Center offered a free class on this topic that focused on deer resistant plants adapted to piedmont landscapes. While there is no plant that is completely deer proof, there are many plants deer prefer not to eat if other options are available. Review the resources below to learn which plants are least likely to be damaged by deer and other non-lethal techniques you can use to minimize deer damage in your landscape.

Review slides from presentations on reducing deer damage in landscapes:

Deer Resistant Plants

Constructing Deer Fencing

Deer Repellents

Learn More About Reducing Deer Damage:

Deer Biology

Use Extension Search to find research-based information from Cooperative Extension systems across the U.S.

Visit your local Cooperative Extension center to learn more about gardening and landscape care. Find your county Extension center.

Subscribe to the Chatham Gardener email list to receive timely updates on sustainable lawn, garden, and landscape care for the central NC Piedmont.