Wild Deer killing bushes and shrubs?

Asked March 24, 2020, 10:08 AM EDT

Hello, firstly I am not from Michigan... I live about 12 miles east of London in the UK. As the original question back in 2015 was asked by someone in Michigan, I felt it the right location choice. I am a landscape gardener for the last 35 years. I have seen, and have small bushes (Ceonothus+) that have entire branches on 5 year old bushes totally dying after nibbling by wild fallow deer. We have them almost every evening, and my neighbour has several knee high Euronymous shrubs that are deformed from this nibbling. This is my second Ceonothus I have planted in the last 10 years. Both nibbled, both slowly killed branch by branch. There must be some cbacteria from a deers saliva that is doing this. The ground is sterelized with Jeyez fluid, no pests present and perfect conditions for the small bushes. This is definitely related die back from the wild Deer, I am amazed there are not more reports of this? Any further ideas gang please?

Michigan

1 Response

Greetings,
Repeated deer browse can not only kill back branches, but eventually, whole plants. This is not uncommon. Plants put a lot of energy into developing new buds for the coming season. When these are constantly removed, the reserves that the plant can draw from are depleted to the point where the branch will just die. If the plant is lucky enough to get taller than the deer-- then it can grow unhindered.