Deer eating my Hick's yew trees

Hello, all: It's been an especially harsh winter here in Toronto and, for the first time I've ever seen, some deer (2) have been coming up the ravine into my backyard and have eating all the needles off my yew trees. My question is two-fold:
1. Even though the damage is done and the deer aren't returning (there's nothing left on the trees to eat), is there a way to deter them from coming into my yard and nibbling my trees? I have a huge raccoon problem, too, and have just given up on that.
2. More importantly, the deer have left the branches, but all the needles on the bottom three feet of the tree are GONE. Will the tree recover and replace its needles? Or is it a goner?
I'm grateful for any information or advice!
David
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I feel your pain. I lost many plants to deer. You can...
select plants less desirable to deer, surround the plant with protective netting or fencing, use an electric fence, get a watch dog, develop a taste for venison.
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Thanks so much for your time and trouble. Well, the fencing would be expensive and ruin the look of my backyard. As for venison, I'd love it, but the deer would have to willingly commit suicide and then somehow prepare themselves for the barbecue.
But you mention plants less desirable to deer. That might have to be the route I go. Do you know of any bushes/shrubs that the deer would leave alone?
Thanks again!
David

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WPB wrote:

Something to try if the layout allows it. May not work, but it's cheap so if it doesn't you haven't lost much. Set three strands of monofilament fishing line about chest high to a deer, pulled tight, a few feet apart, so that if a deer breaks one and keeps going he'll break another. The theory is that the deer can't see it, but when he hits one and breaks it it snapls and startles him and he's not able to figure out what caused it, so after a while they get conditioned to avoid the area. Stuff is so thin that it's practically invisible.

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--John
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Great idea! Thank you!

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Not a bush that deer will leave alone but once established, kerria co-exists nicely with deer. Their winter munching serves as a natural pruning that will result in a fuller bush. A nice compromise I think as both parties win - the deer get some winter munchies and your bush flourishes as a result. However, when the plants are young, the deer munching can kill them. I just wrapped some wire fencing supported by angle irons around their perimeter for the first 2 years to keep them safe.
I lived on a wooded acre (including a ravine such as you mention having at your place) for 20 years. The kerria were recommended to me by a friend who also had heavy deer traffic on their property. Gave them a try and I did enjoy them. They prefer full sunlight but mine were placed in areas of partial light and did well (zone 5).
When hungry enough, deer will eat anything and everything...
--
Sharon F

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Thanks so much! That's great advice!
David

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The yew won't die, but it will definitely be mis-shapened. Those needles won't come back. The only hope is that new branches will bud out and fill in. Usually after a few years, the damage isn't that noticeable. It's definitely worse for upright growing yews versus low bushy ones.
-al sung Rapid Realm Technology, Inc. Hopkinton, MA (Zone 6a)
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Thank you very much for the information! Just two more questions:
1. Should I snip off the stripped branches or just leave them?
2. Can you think of any attractive, thick bushes that are "deer- resistent"?
Thanks again!
David

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You might take a look at this website - I've gotten some good ideas from them.
http://www.deerxlandscape.com /
IZ
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That's great! A whole website devoted to keeping the deer away. Thanks very much!

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