deer safe evergreen tree, how to protect trees

Asked April 17, 2014, 3:57 PM EDT

I want to plant 7 or 8 bushy evergreens in Boulder that will grow at least 15 to 20 feet tall in an area that is not full sun - it has at least 50% shade, maybe a bit more. Green Giant Arborvitae was recommended by one source. Another said that the deer (of which there are many in my yard) will eat it, and that the green giant arborvitae will be weedy and raggedy looking in the Colorado climate. (Tho it will get summer and winter water.) -- This second source said I should plant juniper or spruce instead.
I am also planting English Oak, Catalpa, Tatarian Maple trees and one Ginkgo. I am wondering if I need to individually fence all these trees from the deer. And I am wondering if it's true that I ought to avoid the green giant arborvitae in favor of juniper and spruce. -- Thanks!

Boulder County Colorado trees and shrubs

1 Response

Most evergreen trees prefer full sun. This is especially true of junipers and they will not do well in a shady location.Arborvitae are not well suited to our climate since they are sensitive to sun scald, wind damage and depending on your USDA zone they tolerate our swings in temperature.The CSU Extension has an excellent list of evergreens with sun requirements and height information => For another comprehensive list of trees for the front range area you can also reference the Front Range Tree Recommendation List => No plant is deer proof but in the evergreen category the junipers, pines and spruces may be more deer resistant. While your trees are getting established I would recommend protecting them from the deer somehow, either by fencing them individually or otherwise fencing your yard. Fencing your yard is the only way to keep them from damaging the plants in your yard. This CSU fact sheet has additional information, including the use of repellants.Preventing Deer Damage: For the other trees that you are planting I would suggest reviewing the following information:Plant Talk 2302 -