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Winter Deer Damage Can Devastate Garden Plants

When the leaves fall off of plants that deer typically like to eat, they turn to alternative foods. This is why a majority of landscape plant damage happens in the winter months. With deer as plentiful as they are, this can mean a lot a of winter deer damage can happen to your garden.

Here are 6 things you need to know about winter deer damage:

1. Deer will typically only eat evergreen trees and shrubs in the winter months. During the warmer months, the plants they prefer have leaves. Once those leaves are gone, the turn to the only foliage left, evergreens. Arborvitaes and Rhododendrons are among their favorites.

2. Most fences are not always the answer. In our area, most jurisdictions only allow a fence up to 6’. Guess what? Deer can jump 6’-8’! A typical deer fence should be 10’ in height.

3. Some deer repellents do not work in the winter. Cold reduces the sense of smell so repellents that only rely on being bad smelling have little effect. There are some repellents that do work however. More on this below.

4. Don’t protect the plants the deer do not eat. This seems like a no brainer but the truth of the matter is that the deer’s appetite has been expanding as populations have gone up and food has become scarcer. Still, there are some definite plants that the deer do not eat. Do not waste time and material protecting these plants. You need to know these plants. Here are two list of plants that we have found deer do not prefer: Perennials Rarely Damaged and Shrubs Rarely Damaged.

5. Watch how many acorns fall to determine how bad the deer damage will be. The more acorns that fall, the more they become a food source for deer. The less acorns that fall, the more deer need to rely on your evergreens. Noticing how heavy the acorn crop is from year to year will help you determine how much protection you will need to do.

6. Learn where deer eat. Deer are creature of habit and do not like to stray from their routes. They consider them safe. It may be necessary to protect desirable plants in these areas more.

So, what can you do to protect your plants in winter? At Allentuck Landscaping Co., we have tried a lot of materials. Our Deer DeFence program uses one that we have found consistently works the best. The product is a mix of organic herbs that give the deer an uncanny sense of danger. It is used as a deterrent around desirable plants, not as a bad tasting material. By giving the deer a sense of danger, they stay are and remember the threat. The best part, it is organic and will not harm pets or children.

If you are concerned about deer damage to your landscape plants, give us a call or shoot us an email. We will be happy to give you a free Deer DeFence quote.




Allentuck Landscaping Co. is Your Residential Landscape Company

Phone: 301-515-1900 Email:

At Allentuck Landscaping Company, our mission is to create beautiful environments for people to enjoy. We see landscaping as a way to improve people’s lives.

The Allentuck Landscaping Company team has been a leading landscape company in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 28 years with our turnkey approach to landscape design, installation, construction and maintenance. Most companies try to serve many types of customers at the same time; homeowners, shopping centers, office buildings and the list goes on. At Allentuck Landscaping Co., we focus on one customer, you, the homeowner. We have a singular focus on bringing you the best landscape practices, the best customer service, and the best value for your home.

Services Provide - Master Landscape Plans, Complete Maintenance Programs, Plantings, Patios, Walkways, Retaining Walls, Water Features, Outdoor Lighting, Outdoor Kitchens, Trellises & Pergolas, Irrigation Systems, Drainage Solutions, Grading & Sodding. Fire Pits & Fire Places, Spring Clean Ups, Decks, Fences, Mosquito & Tick Control, Deer Control.

Areas Served - Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, North Potomac, Darnestown, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Damascus, Boyds, Clarksburg, Ijamsville, Urbana, Frederick in Maryland and Washington DC.

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