Stop Deer from Eating Arborvitae Trees (Even Emerald Green)

Stop Deer from Eating Arborvitae Trees (Even Emerald Green)

Arborvitae trees are well known as nature’s fence—and rightfully so. They give your yard all the perks of a cozy enclosure and add a fresh evergreen glow and fragrant piney scent.

These trees are so comforting, in fact, that deer to make themselves right at home. In the dead of winter when food is scarce, deer can’t resist prancing into your yard to snack on your precious trees and shrubs.

Learn the best way to keep deer from eating all your favorite arborvitae trees below.

Top 3 Best Ways to Protect Arborvitae from Deer

Deer love to munch on arborvitae trees as much as we like to eat pizza. It is one of their absolute favorite plants to eat–and in winter, it’s one of the few things left.

1. Use deer repellent 

Repellent spray is one of the more common ways to control deer feeding. For best results, choose a spray that contains eggs because deer can’t stand the smell.

Or DIY it. Try hanging soap or dryer sheets from the top of the tree to create a pungent smell that turns deer away. Or, create a DIY repellent with eggs, garlic powder and water.

Apply repellents every four to eight weeks and immediately after rain or snow. Sometimes the spray doesn’t work very well in freezing temperatures. If your area is often frosty, try the below tactics.

2. Try netting, burlap or mesh 

Installing a physical barrier around your arborvitae tree is the best way to keep deer out. You wrap your tree once, and it’s protected all winter long. The downside? Not everyone likes how trees look when covered in netting, burlap or mesh.

If aesthetics aren’t an issue, firmly wrap the tree from bottom to top, covering up to 8 feet high. Remove this come spring, so your trees can breathe and prepare for the growing season!

3. Swap ‘em for deer-resistant arborvitaes

Just like you, deer have preferences with their favorite snacks. Deer don’t care for Western arborvitaes, like green giant, steeplechase or spring grove. So, if you plant these, they may leave them alone.

Though, when deer are starving, they become less picky and will eat almost anything, including those deer-resistant arborvitaes. If deer are a big problem in your yard, avoid arborvitae altogether. Instead, try boxwoods, spruce, holly bushes or viburnum.

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  • The Tree Doctor May 30, 2018 >Hi Tom, My concern with shrink wrap is two-fold. On warm, direct sun days, the temperature under the plastic could rise to levels that could possibly kill or burn foliage. Secondly, the moisture trapped under the non-breathable plastic could favor disease development. I would therefore not advise using shrink wrap in place of burlap. Here if you have any more questions, Tom.
  • Tom Eifert May 29, 2018 >After our Arborvitae have gone dormant in late fall, would wrapping them with shrink wrap instead of burlap damage the shrub? Thank You, Tom
  • Lyle Metzger August 3, 2017 >I put up electric fence Nov. And take it down March. Have the most beautiful 20 ft high and 150 ft long hedges you will ever see tried different prevention no goof redults do 25 years ago the electric fence works perfect. No danger for its low voltage. 😁
  • The Tree Doctor May 26, 2017 >Hi Carl. Your cherry trees should be ok as long as the deer don't eat all the leaves every year. However, if there was no foliage at all when your tree was so young, there's a chance that it could affect the tree. This year, try this tips to keep those deer away from your cherry trees, Carl:
  • CARL INNOCENTI May 11, 2017 >I need a remedy to stop deer, I purchased 2 new cherry trees and they blossomed really well, and the deer ate all the leaves from the 1 year old tree. I don't know if that is going to kill those trees for next year. but I purchased 2 other trees and I want to try to prevent this. thanks carl
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