Hope this is the right section for this - I think it may be. I have developed a strategy for next winter to keep deer off my yews. I'm going to try to "wrap" them in something, maybe burlap. It was purely hopeless this year out here where the herd is so large. Repellents, tin cans with marbles and Irish Spring soap did little if any good. My next door neighbor, bless him, feeds the deer leftover fruits and veggies during the winter which is why I'm sure they're around...
Anyway, the deer striped back large portions of all my yews at the front of the house. Some are worse than others as I now have nice looking "sticks" where green once was. But, on one low height yew for example, the little darlings missed a clump of about 3 small branches near the back (say, 5% of the total) which are now showing new growth! The sticks are not unfortunately, except that I see tiny tiny little sprouts right off the bottom of the base of the main stalk. This tells me the bush is still alive in there - I frankly thought the whole bush was a gone-er. I have this nice looking fir tree next to it (about 10 feet tall) that, from about 5 feet down looks like a bomb hit it. Gorgeous lush greenery from 5 feet up though! I'd like to see if I can preserve a-n-y of this and not have to go through the expense and the work etc. etc.
My question is: How far gone would a yew have to be before I give the heave-ho? IOW, if it's got even a little greenery will it survive? And, if a few others have no greenery at all, do I pull them or do they have any chance at all and if so, is there a recommendation from the group as to what to do? Are there any thoughts about any successful anti-deer strategies? None of the local nurseries around here are very helpful at all. If you aren't buying anything, you're a leper! :-)
Thanks for any thoughts or input.
Hope this is the right section for this - I think it may be. I have
developed a strategy for next winter to keep deer off my yews. I'm
going to try to "wrap" them in something, maybe burlap. It was purely
hopeless this year out here where the herd is so large. Repellents,
tin cans with marbles and Irish Spring soap did little if any good.
My next door neighbor, bless him, feeds the deer leftover fruits and
veggies during the winter which is why I'm sure they're around...
Are there any thoughts about any successful anti-deer strategies?
None of the local nurseries around here are very helpful at all.
Try the farm supply stores or fence companies. About 10 fott high
fence all the way around should do nicely!! Otherwise, motion dectors
connected to lights, horns & the sprinkler system.
Thanks Tom. You must've been sitting right at your computer!!! Hmm,
sprinkler system - problem there is up here in the northeast you have to
drain those out and winterize them. I'll think about those other "hi-tech"
suggestions. Right now, I need to decide if the yews are salvagable and if
so, what are the steps in terms of bringing them back. If you have some
ideas or if anyone else does, please post them!
The repellents, soap, perfume, fox-urine, etc. don't work.
Tell him to stop doing that. It's bad for the deer, and it's illegal
most places in the US. If he keeps doing it, and you are in the USA,
call your local cooperative extension agent, and ask him or her to
call your neighbor, and explain why he shouldn't be doing this.
You can wrap them in burlap, or plastic netting. Either will keep the
deer off them, though the deer will try to pull the burlap or netting
off, so you need to attach it securely.
I used plastic netting for years, and it worked well, but it was a
pain to set up in the fall, and even more of a pain to remove in the
spring. The netting would catch on the yews (and other plants). Burlap
would probably be less difficult to remove, but it looks so ugly! The
netting was pretty invisible unless you looked for it. It was black
plastic, with about 1/2" square holes, is available in any nursery.
I finally decided the yews were my contribution to the local deer
population, and stopped worrying about it. Now the yews look pretty
bad in the spring, and I prune back quite a bit to get them to look
more bushy. By mid summer they have developed a lot of new growth.
Tthey never look really "good", but I accept that.
Just my $.02
Thanks Terry for your thoughts. There are reasons why I can't "call the
cops" on the neighbor but it won't do any good to discuss that here. And I
understand that trying to cover them is going to leave looking "butt ugly".
Having said that, what do you think? Cut the sticks away and hope for the
best? Is there some special food or fertilizer I should try in conjunction
If I'm going to have to sacrifice them, I'd rather do so now. I've found
that some boxwoods are deer resistant so if I drop those in now rather than
later (when the yews perhaps don't come back) they'll have a chance to latch
on while the spring is apon us.
Any further thoughts before we close this chapter?
I appreciate your advice and everyone else's for that matter.
Don't know. You could certainly prune and see how they do. Miine have
always regrown, but they haven't been as bad as you describe, either.
On the other hand, if you've got something you like that you could
plant there, you could just "get it over with". You're going to have
problems with yews and deer every year...
Sorry to hear about your deer issues. I can relate. Many of the properties
I take care of on Lummi island have the same issues. All you really can do
is a fence. With that said, the fence doesn't have to go to the moon and
it doesn't have to look ugly. Deer have very poor eye site and even worse
depth perception. If you place two short fences 3 feet apart, many of your
issues will disappear. I built a small pickett fence that was 37" high and
3 feet behind it I installed a "large animal" livestock fence that was 4'
high. The large animal fence is a wire fence that can be purchased at a
farm supply store.
Why it works...
It seems to work due to the deer's inability to correctly gage the jumping
distance. He figures that he can make it past the first fence but he'll
land on the second and be hurt. Many folks will say that the deer will
just jump over both and this has happened 3 time in 3 years. I personaly
believe that it was the same deer and he just seem desparate enough to
chance it. When deer are hungry enough they'll rip down a fence to get at
Trim back the yews and protect them. Sound's like they'll come back over
time as long as they are protected from new damage.
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