email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Deer Ate A Shrub

Well, OK, that's not all that uncommon.  But it has been for me. 

The very first landscaping I did when I moved in here 27 years ago (new house so no initial landscaping) was plant a few shrubs on the east side of the house.  It was a Korean Dogwood tree with 2 Euonymus shrubs, several Nandina (false bamboo) plants, and some spreading evergreen.

Well, nothing bothered the shrubs in all that time.  Until last week!  But as I walked around that side of the yard (a least-visited side), "something" just looked odd.  It took a few minutes, but I realized all the bottom halves of the Euonymus shrubs looked "wrong".  It hit me suddenly that all the leaves on the bottom half of the 8' high Euonymus shrubs were GONE!  

Well, sometimes it takes a few minutes for the brain to "see" the difference between what it is looking at and what the memory says was there before.  So many possibilities came to mind.  Insect damage?  Not in Winter.  Fungal disease?  Ditto about Winter.  Natural leaf fall?  No, it's an evergreen. 


When I moved into to this newly-built neighborhood, there were deer around.  There was a swamp across the street and deer love wetland edges.  I almost got trampled by 2 panicked deer while I was mowing the lawn my first Fall.  I used to see deerprints in the lawn at first.  That all stopped after a few years as the street filled with new houses.

Last year, I had some hostas eaten for the first time in 15 years.  This Winter, shrubs for the very first time.
And they even left me a "gift"...


Megan said...

One of the (many) animal problems in our garden, Mark, is wallabies. We had an orchid flowering on our front verandah for several months last year. Those flowers died off and after several more months, another flower stalk developed. We'd had those flowers for three weeks or so and then, all of a sudden, the wallabies decided to give them a try and ate the lot. AND we got a gift like yours - right on the front doorstep. Two days later, they decided to eat the spring onions that had been growing in a pot for about four months. What changed? Why were they attracted to these plants after ignoring them for so long? We're not in drought, so I don't think food is particularly scarce. Very odd!

Sydney, Australia

Katie Isabella said...

They are killing my son's place. He has a large backyard and if you were on face book I would have directed you over to his page to see the herd. yes, herd, 8 point bucks, 6 point bucks and mom's and kids that are in his yard ruining it. Eating the bird food that he paid so much money for. Killing the shrubs. eating the plants. He posted pictures of 8 of them laying around in the yard, some with their hooves up in the air.