Deer and elderberry

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by Prelude8626, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Prelude8626

    Prelude8626 Member

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    Location:
    Maine
    Hardiness Zone:
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    All. I’m ordering some live stakes to help improve my wetlands. So far over ordered some ROD and Silky Dogwood. I was also thinking some elderberry but have heard mixes things. Do the deer like elderberry?
     
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  2. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
    6a
    Does a bear do his business in the woods? I've tried numerous times to start elderberry bushes and the deer flock to them like a magnet and eat them to the bone. Bummer. What a wasted effort. Elderberry sure makes such good pies too. I think I'm going to try one more time, and this time they will be protected with steel.
     
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  3. massey

    massey Well-Known Member

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    When we bought our place in 99 we had elderberry but no deer. After logging and years of habitat improvement we have tons of deer but no elderberry. You can’t make it grow without cages with a high deer population.


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  4. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the above comments.
     
  5. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    If you have more than 3 deer you best cage the silky also. Just sayin. They and the bear like to even remove my tubes for easier access.
     
  6. g squared 23

    g squared 23 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I planted 25 silkies last year caging most of them but leaving a few uncaged as I ran out of metal. The caged ones certainly did better but they haven’t eaten the uncaged ones to the ground.

    Elderberry was on my list for next year, I’m glad I’m reading this thread so I will protect them properly.


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  7. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    I have a low deer density and a fair amount of elderberry.... What I will say is that most of what I find are the more mature plants because the deer can't reach the leaves... I have a project to give some a hair cut yet, but they are already starting to leaf out here so it may have to wait. I have elderberry plants that are 10 feet tall...but they are just stems for the first 5 or 6 feet. These are the only real plants I have where you can see exactly where the deer can reach and where they can not. I also am in heavy ag country with lots of food around...so it's not a lack of food...its the preference of it. Here is a good example of what I tend to find....notice the bare lower branches.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    They HAMMER mine. i started a bunch from cuttings this year.
     
  9. bowhunter14

    bowhunter14 Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    How did you start them from cutting? Throw them directly in the ground or in a pot?
     
  10. willy

    willy Active Member

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    Location:
    Nebraska, south end of zone 5
    just stick a 12-14" piece of the stem as far into the ground as possible. Leave about 2" above ground. Take a tile spade, stomp it as far as it will go, pull it out, slide cutting as far down as you can get it, stomp the slit shut and move another 2' and do it again. One can plant hundreds of them in a couple hours. If you have a relatively wet spot or area that gets good precip they'll do well. Not sure how far north they grow but they are easy to propagate. They are not long lived but it is easy to keep them going, just repeat above steps each year or so and you should stay in elderberry.
     
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  11. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Just ordered some cuttings off eBay and gonna give them a shot. I think we have spot in a waterway that they will get overlooked by the deer for a while.
     
  12. bowhunter14

    bowhunter14 Member

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    @KSQ2 Are you planning on caging them or just see what happens to make it
     
  13. Gravel Road

    Gravel Road Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    The deer don't seem to browse my elderberry very much, but it's still a great plant. Good berries and it makes a nice thicket for small game and quail. Easy to propagate from cuttings too.
     
  14. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Not planning to cage them, if the deer nail them, I’ll give it another shot next year and give them some protection. The place I plan to put them is an area the deer rarely frequent, I’m trying to make it better habitat.
     
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  15. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Kansas It's better to wear out than to rust out.
    I like elderberries and keep some in a flowerbed as start donors. Unfortunately the flowerbed plants no longer give me berries as the birds have figured out they like them.
     
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  16. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Once they get a good root system established, I can remove cages.
     
    KSQ2 likes this.

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