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What are deer-resistant trees?

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Deer-resistant trees are trees that can withstand the damage caused by deer, either by eating or rubbing. Included in these trees are those that deer generally avoid. The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station rated different trees as rarely damaged and seldom severely damaged by deer. Some deer-resistant trees that are included in the list are fir, pine, fig, Hawthorn, paper birch, mimosa, red maple, American holly and spruce.

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Deer avoid certain trees because they are poisonous to them, if only at specific points in the tree's growth. Deer may also find the taste and digestibility of these plants unacceptable. Deer will typically not touch plants with prickly leaves and thorny branches or stems. They also don't like eating feathery, gray or tough leaves or those that give off a pungent smell or strong taste.

Stray deer have increased in population because they have been driven away from their natural habitats by widespread suburban development. As a result, deer damage to residential landscape plants and trees has increased. To address this issue, gardeners and landscapers turn to deer-resistant trees as their choice for landscape trees. They also put up fences and use deer repellents to protect their finished landscape projects.

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