Deer and Arbor Vitae

Asked June 16, 2020, 1:11 PM EDT

When I planted my Arbor Vitae several years ago, people told me deer would eat them and they have no chance. Well, many years later not one deer has ever taken one mouthful of my trees. The former MSU extension agent told me it was because each year I place limestone granules at the drip line of each tree. Deer smell or sense it and they don't like it. If he is correct, and I believe is, will I get the same result putting the granules around my ornamentals ? Otherwise I will take your suggestions for dissuading deer.

Houghton County Michigan

1 Response

I have never heard of using limestone granules to discourage deer. If they work for you it may be because the deer do not like the smell or perhaps the feel of the limestone as they walk over it. You may get the same results on your ornamentals.

The best approach to deter deer is a multi-part solution. 1. Choose smart plants that the deer do not like. 2. Apply smart repellents to deter deer. 3. Create smart barriers to block deer.

Here are some links that may give you some more ideas.

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/smart_gardening_to_deter_deer

https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/deersg-web.pdf

https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/deer

Best of luck with your deer problems.