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.