Deer, though native to our area and very cute, can do untold damage to your garden overnight.
A 6-8’ deer-proof fence is the best insurance against damage but will only send the deer into your neighbors’ yards, which doesn’t solve the problem.
Allowing deer to access some of your property and landscaping, with awareness of deer feeding habits, can help reduce costly plant damage and may be more aesthetically pleasing as well.
This list is meant to be used as a general guide, keeping in mind that there are many variables affecting levels of damage.
Deer population fluctuations, human population shifts, and the availability of natural food sources are just a few examples. The time of year and the taste preferences of individual deer will also affect the plants browsed.
The “deer resistant” plants listed here are hardy in the Portland area.
Any small, recently planted plants are especially prone to being yanked up from the ground. Young trees are vulnerable until they have grown to 4’ minimum.
Several types of mini-barriers can be constructed at home, or are available for purchase. These are intended to be set up for plant protection until plants are sturdy and large enough.
Mini fences to protect individual plants or small beds should be 5’ high and staked to the ground.
Tree guards protect tree trunks from antler rubbing and are wrapped around any size trunk, then cut to fit. These can be made from chicken wire and are also commercially available.
Tender bud tips of young conifers can be protected by simply a sleeve of folded and stapled paper over them until they harden a bit.