Yew Damage

Asked March 12, 2020, 8:08 AM EDT

It appears as if some insect is eating the tips of my yew shrubs. Do you have any thoughts on what it might be and what can be done to prevent further damage?

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

3 Responses

Insects are not active outside in the winter, but deer are. This looks like deer browse. Yew are a favorite food of deer, unfortunately.

You may want to apply a deer repellant (Liquid Fence is effective) if you do not have a great deal of deer pressure. If you have a big, or growing, deer population, you may have to replace the yews.


Thanks Ellen. The shrubs are in a fully fenced yard in Logan Circle, so deer would not be able to get them. Do you have any other thoughts? Could it be birds?


Deer can jump a 6 foot fence from a standstill. Hopefully yours is higher.

That's not typical bird feeding. They feed on insects and berries primarily, not leaves.