Protect Plants from Wildlife in the Winter

Sep 2, 2016

Your friendly neighborhood herbivores, like deer and rabbits, aren’t opposed to snacking on your garden in the best of times, but they are particularly prone to snacking on ornamental trees and shrubs when the snow flies. 

Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron says the plants that are most vulnerable to deer during the winter months are evergreens like arborvitae and yews, but new plantings of trees and shrubs should also be protected.

If you really want to keep deer out of your yard a fence is your best bet. Iowa State University Extension Wildlife Specialist Adam Janke says fences can be particularly effective in urban or suburban settings.

“Deer don’t like to be in tight spaces," he says. "They don’t like to be in spaces they can’t see. A lot of relatively modest privacy fences would probably preclude deer.”

Jauron also pointed out that young trees and shrubs are also vulnerable to rabbit damage and should be protected with a two foot tall fence around the base.

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Jauron and Janke and they answer your gardening questions.