Deer Resistant Evergreen


Active Member
Does anyone have any insight on a fairly fast growing evergreen that is deer resistant? I am building a three layer screen with a hybrid poplar row, evergreen row, and ninebark/wild plum row
If you have suggestions, I would appreciate it.
Only thing I have ever seen as deer resistant is Eastern Red Cedar...every pine and spruce I have tried to grow has been browsed hard...
With heavy snow, they will even eat my cedars. And rub them to death. If planting, top the leader with aluminum screen per Brushpiles suggestion. Only thing that works short of fencing. They will browse the stems, but plant will still grow with leader. If you have the time, you can keep them sprayed with 1/3 milk mixed with water. Do every couple weeks or after rain.
resized line of ERC.jpg Deer love to rub ERC; I suspect they like it's scratchy nature. If your DPSM is low, no sweat with ERC. Another advantage with ERC is the fact that you might be able to find someone who would let you dig them for free. I have used some ERC and find that they do well in low-sunlight areas (see attached photos). I believe Norway spruce is your best option over the long run. Austrian pines are not bad for a fairly dense screen; they may experience some disease problems. A short line of 4-5 ERC, planted closely together, makes an excellent buck (hopefully) bed ... see 1st photo.ERC cropped.jpg

Would you believe all those ERC's have grown through their original cages which are still in place. If you look closely you can see a small steel rod in the first photo.
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One more vote for Eastern Red Cedar, and deer will rub it, but not as much as pine. Deer will also rub your Hybrid Poplar, which will only make the HP grow more vigorously.
Has anyone else avoided planting cedars because they have apple trees in the area and they're concerned with spreading cedar apple rust?
I've had zero browsing on blue and white spruce but those aren't exactly fast growing and blue are getting some sort of a disease here.
Norway are faster growing, seem to have less disease issues but they do get rubbed more and get browsed (but very minimal damage from browsing).
G squared 23, I checked with the forestry dept. on The wisdom of killing every red cedar tree on my property once. The cedar rust was really putting a hurting on some not so resistant"cedar apple rust resistant"apple trees I had planted. They told me to stop the rust from reaching those trees that every red cedar tree within 4 1/2 miles would need to be eliminated. So IF you have or plant apple trees that react badly to cedar rust then planting more red cedars might be a net negative but rest assured the cedar rust spores "travel" by you today anyhow. The cure is more about using trees that are truly more resistant to it.That ramped up the releasing of the wild apple trees present where a large amount of them are not so affected by cedar rust.

And as to evergreens, I have not yet seen an evergreen tree here that would be safe from deer in the tougher winters. They eat our white pine first and Blue and Norway spruce last. Red cedar is one of the trees here that I ration each year by dropping just a few in February for the deer to eat.

For planted screening here Miscanthus Giganteus is working well; I have seen zero deer browsing on it to date(has been in about three years). And planting spruce fenced around the bottom five feet to get it past the deer would be okay(ten year deal to grow). For a quick screen, non-winter felling of cedar and dragging it full length and placed as screening has helped to grow some very brushy screens that have worked well during hunting season.

Oakseeds, those are some great red cedars you have pictured;we never see them in that shape here and wouldn't even recognize them as red cedar.
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Norway spruce in farm country in WI. I've planted over 15,000 and the deer have not touched them
That's cool, I planted 200 of them...all but about 30 died on their own and about 15 of those got eaten by deer night before last...the ones they ate are from 15 - 30 yards of our house...
My caretaker toured the farm today. Checked on the 8000 norways we planted last spring. Couldn't find a dead one. They looked great

Must be regional
My caretaker toured the farm today. Checked on the 8000 norways we planted last spring. Couldn't find a dead one. They looked great

Must be regional

I put 50 in the ground last spring with a zero percent survival rate. Any young evergreen here gets ****ing demolished.

I planted and caged 8 this year to start a screen and add some sort of green to the property.
I dug about a dozen red cedars sprouts off the back of my in laws land. All of them were 6-12 inches high and within 100 ft of the one mature red cedar on the property. None showed signs of browse. They are potted and waiting the trip to my farm. I dont know how fast they grow, but these were in great shape and in a fairly open area with good deer traffic.