Do Deer Eat Arborvitae? Why Arborvitae Is Great

deer eating plants in backyard

Planting a garden or incorporating landscape plants into your backyard is exciting. You can really bring new life to your yard with some simple but thoughtful plantings. However, if you live in an area that has deers, your plantings can quickly become their food. Therefore, lots of homeowners ask if there are any plants that deer don’t like to eat. Amongst the most common is do deer eat arborvitae? In this article, we’ll explain if deer eat arborvitae, why arborvitae is so popular and furthermore, how to deer-proof your backyard.

Do Deer Eat Arborvitae?

Deer only resort to eating arborvitae if they’re starved. Generally speaking, no, deer do not eat arborvitae. Arborvitae is an evergreen tree, which is not high on deers preferred foods. Deer typically eat leaves, grasses, herbs, shrubs, shoots, and bark. They also will indulge in nuts, berries, twigs, lichen, and mushrooms. Aside from vegetation, deer will sometimes eat fish, insects, and other small animals.

Why Is Arborvitae Popular?

Arborvitae is a popular landscaping choice for many reasons. Of course, deer do tend to stay away from eating it which is a benefit. However, there are so many practical reasons to plant arborvitae too. It’s a fast-growing, low-maintenance evergreen tree that can be used for privacy, screening, and sound barriers. We recommend them as a great method of how to reduce noise from a nearby highway. Coupled with the fact that deer don’t find it tasty, this use of privacy/sound blocking makes it a perfect plant to line the exterior of your front or backyard.

Luckily, arborvitae is also highly tolerant of drought, humidity, and most soil conditions. This resilience makes it easy to grow and care for even if you’re not an experienced landscaper. Arborvitae has a neat, attractive form and is available in many heights. from dwarf to tall, so it can be used to suit almost any landscape design.

How To Deer Proof Garden And Landscape

Enough about do deer eat arborvitae, how else can you deer proof your backyard? If you have a garden and live near a wooded area, you want to have a plan to keep deer out. Months of hard work growing berries or tomatoes can go out the window if deer can easily waltz into your backyard. Here are some ways how to deer proof garden and backyards in general.

Install A Deer-Proof Fence

High fences (at least 7 feet) are the most effective way to keep deer away from your landscape. Materials such as galvanized steel or mesh are the most effective. Surprisingly, if you have a small garden, getting a deer-proof fence will likely costly less than $100. A deer-proof fence is great for small spaces, like a garden, that you need to keep extra protected.

Plant Deer-Resistant Plants

Arborvitae are not the only plants that deer don’t like to eat. Many plants are naturally unappealing to deer. Consider planting lavender, honeysuckle, and yucca to name a few. Here is an exhaustive list of all deer-resistant plants.

Use Deer Repellents

If you have a large backyard, a deer-proof fence might be cumbersome to install. Instead, repellents such as predator urine, soap, and hot pepper sprays can be used to discourage deer from entering your yard. Most deer repellents cost less than $25 per gallon. If you choose this method, you’ll need to reapply every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the product you choose and the weather conditions.

Do Deer Eat Arborvitae If Repellent Is Applied

Remove Attractive Food Sources

Plants and garden vegetables are not the only backyard treats that deers like. Backyards with open compost piles and bird feeders can become popular with deer. To safeguard, add lids to your compost piles and elevate your bird feeders 8-10 feet from ground level.

Strategically Plant Tall Shrubs And Trees

As we were saying with arborvitae, it’s wise to have large plantings toward the exterior of your property. Deer are much less likely to enter backyards with dense vegetation and tall shrubs, especially if they don’t like to nimble on those tall shrubs. The goal is to insulate your backyard with the less appealing plantings to wildlife.

Do Deer Eat Arborvitae Summary

Most of the time, deer will not eat arborvitae. In environments where food is extremely scarce, deer will sometimes nimble on arborvitae, but they do not enjoy it. Deer prefer things like nuts and garden vegetables. This makes arborvitae a great planting for the exterior of a backyard. Arborvitae has many other benefits aside from deterring deer.

There are many ways to thoughtfully deer-proof your garden and backyard. You could install a deer proof fence, use deer repellents or remove/hide the foods that deer find the most exciting.