Oh, Deer…

More from our Ornamental Plant Production class tour across the state.  One of our stops was James River Nurseries, Inc.  Owner Mike Hildebrand has a built a unique and diverse business – they not only grow but do landscape design-build-install, all in the huge market of central and northern Virginia and beyond.

Here’s some arborvitae that spent the past few weeks at one of their job sites north of Richmond, waiting to be planting.  They’re now back at the nursery.  I was going to make this a quiz, but it’s unfortunately just too obvious.

deer nibbles

Wow. Poor things never even made it into the ground.

6 thoughts on “Oh, Deer…”

  1. Yowser. Hungry deer. I have used deer-eaten Taxus in a project where their bottom bareness didn’t matter, but their full foliage at top (from about 6′ up to 10′) provided a great screen from the roadway and neighbors slightly above my clients’ site. The nursery was selling them at a discount; because they were so oddly shaped they were considered almost unsaleable. Now that several of us have bought deer-eaten Taxus for this purpose, the nursery catalog now highlights them for their unique screening ability. When deer hand you lemons…These arborvitae might be a tougher sell.

  2. I say the nursery should prune this up a bit more, and leave the top, then start selling them as Thuja ‘Apollo Lunar Lander’, which is what they remind me of.

  3. Reiman Gardens in Iowa released a statement last week saying they had $15,000 in rabbit damage to trees. The snow was deep enough to cover the chicken wire and rabbits hopped right up ate their fill.

  4. I had no idea deer would eat these. The vegetable garden? Naturally. Tulips? Of course. But arborvitae? New to me! Thanks for the heads up. Something else to watch out for!

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