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Timber Doodle
01-24-2010, 06:30 PM
Often times people are discussing the "preferred" browse species for deer. There seems to be a much larger list of preferred browse than non-preferred. So wouldn't it be easier to create a list of species deer won't touch? If you'd ask me they seem to browse on almost anything. Although an obvious one for me would have to be spruce, but some of you might argue that.

Any thoughts of plant species deer won't touch?

bush hill
01-24-2010, 09:05 PM
i have some they don't mess with too much. beech and stiped maple are the first ones that come to mind.

criggster
01-25-2010, 09:41 AM
One thing to consider is that each area will be different. For instance deer in my area may eat lots of things deer in your area wouldn't due to herd dynamics, available food, etc. There are a few things I know they won't eat here: buckeye, walnut, willow, alder, beech, and I'm sure a few more I can't think of at the moment.

letemgrow
01-25-2010, 09:49 AM
A list would only be good from a regional perspective...as Criggster stated, they do not touch walnut, but on my place they eat the crap out of stump sprouts after trees were logged and I actually had to tube/fence them to keep the browsing away so they could grow back into trees.

sagittarius
01-27-2010, 09:36 AM
Often times people are discussing the "preferred" browse species for deer. There seems to be a much larger list of preferred browse than non-preferred. So wouldn't it be easier to create a list of species deer won't touch? If you'd ask me they seem to browse on almost anything. Although an obvious one for me would have to be spruce, but some of you might argue that. Any thoughts of plant species deer won't touch? .... Won't touch hickory.

Deer browse preference is not a black and white issue .... more like a grey scale with a million different shades. ;) The key is to figure out that preference scale. Chances are, if you have alot of deer, the most prefered browse species were decimated from your area many years ago. Years of high deer populations cause deer to eat lower and lower on the preference list out of desparation. One area's "filet minion" might be another areas boiled "shoe leather". What deer choose to eat, ... and why they are forced to eat it ... is of huge importance to any deer hunter/manager.

letemgrow
01-27-2010, 09:48 AM
.... Won't touch hickory.


I hardly ever see hickory browsed on my place. The only times are the trees I cut down and stump sprouts come up right along the trails. Everything else never gets touched.

PALogger
01-27-2010, 10:01 PM
Black birch could go on the list here in PA. Not sure if they never browse it, but its certainly competitive enough to get out of browse range pretty quick. Hay-scented fern is another plant that can be chalked up as green junk. Doesn't offer any wildlife benefit and inhibits regeneration to boot. Lots of money gets spent trying to control it every year on state and private landholdings, but its got a pretty good hold in much of the state.

Timber Doodle
01-28-2010, 07:56 PM
Thanks for the replies.

The deer here seem to browse anything that is along their way usually on a trail. They browse on buckthorn, but I believe that's mainly because of how abundant it is. They like the aspen, red maple, paper birch, and elm that I've hinged/felled. I'm not sure about whether or not they like the ash yet.

smsmith
01-28-2010, 08:02 PM
Wow - they are browsing buckthorn? What kind of dpsm would you say you have? Even during the last two rather brutal winters here they didn't touch the buckthorn. They were eating spruce, austrian pine, red pine, and others they usually don't touch - but absolutely zero usage of the buckthorn (or the bush honeysuckle).

Timber Doodle
01-28-2010, 08:35 PM
Well I'm really not sure. All I can give you is what is given on the deer population map on this site. By looking at that map I'd say around 30dpsm. But it's hard to get an idea of a count when deer numbers vary so much from season to season. It used to be that we'd hardly have a single deer on the property in the winter before this year. That and we are most likely the only ones interacting with the woods and fields by promoting native/natural vegetative browse, food plots, and mast-producing trees/shrubs. This winter we have standing corn so we're probably drawing in every deer in the area. I saw 16 deer(most likely all different individuals) on the rye/oats/awp mix one evening this past fall. Then again the couple guys that hunted the land during gun season hardly saw a deer. I believe either way we should have a higher population of deer than surrounding areas just because of the food we're making available for them.

About the buckthorn, I can say it certainly doesn't appear to be a preferred browse. After cutting the trees down I mentioned in the last post and cutting the buckthorn, they won't touch the buckthorn much that's on the ground. Comparing that to the trees I hinged, they absolutely love the buds on those. Like I said, I believe because of it's abundance, the fact that it dominates the understory of many areas, and that it is in front of their noses(many thousands of 1,2,3 year old seedlings), that they browse on it. Hopefully in years to come I can say they aren't browsing on it because of the efforts put into better browse. Although, I still believe they will browse on almost anything when they're on their way along a trail from point A to point B.

I know I've seen deer eat the leaves in the fall while hunting. But only within the last 2-3 years have I really learned a lot about what I know and only but within those last 2-3 years have I learned the importance of observing the deer behavior towards what they eat. I know what I'll be watching for in years to come when in the stand.

HabitatMD
01-28-2010, 11:04 PM
If you are talking forbs....the MDC has a website to promote the use of native plants in landscaping. You can select "deer resistant" on the bottom part of the page to display plants deer won't typically browse.

http://www.grownative.org/plants/plantPickerStart.asp

sagittarius
01-29-2010, 09:04 AM
Wow - they are browsing buckthorn? What kind of dpsm would you say you have? Even during the last two rather brutal winters here they didn't touch the buckthorn. They were eating spruce, austrian pine, red pine, and others they usually don't touch - but absolutely zero usage of the buckthorn (or the bush honeysuckle).Same here. Even the mice in winter, won't touch buckthorn. This past spring I found a small wild sprouting crab apple tree(3ft) in tall grass, surrounded by 20+ buckthorn(4'-5'). The mice had bypassed all the surrounding buckthorn to eat/girdle the bark on the crab apple.

smsmith
01-29-2010, 09:10 AM
Yep, I've found no use of buckthorn for food by any mammal. The birds do love the berries (hence the unbelievably fast spreading) and it does make for some great cover for lots of critters. I'm getting close to giving up the battle on the buckthorn and honeysuckle. With neighboring lands loaded with the stuff I just can't keep up. I'm hoping that eventually some fungus or other disease hits the stuff.

letemgrow
01-29-2010, 09:29 AM
With neighboring lands loaded with the stuff I just can't keep up. I'm hoping that eventually some fungus or other disease hits the stuff.

That is very likely to happen, isn't MFR getting hit by some fungus now?? I have seen a lot of that dead on my place already and more will die this coming spring after green up. :D

letemgrow
01-29-2010, 09:32 AM
If you are talking forbs....the MDC has a website to promote the use of native plants in landscaping. You can select "deer resistant" on the bottom part of the page to display plants deer won't typically browse.

http://www.grownative.org/plants/plantPickerStart.asp


I was surprised to see black raspberry on the list as deer resistant, it gets browsed some on my place so that may not be a good sign...too many deer probably.

sacco
01-29-2010, 09:47 AM
I was surprised to see black raspberry on the list as deer resistant, it gets browsed some on my place so that may not be a good sign...too many deer probably.

i've seen a lot of "deer resistant" lists that include preferred browse like raspberry, viburnums or dogwoods.

when people make these lists, i don't think they mean deer won't browse, just that plants will still do fine. - i,e, either the plants are low preference like beech, OR plants that respond well to being heavily "pruned"

PA Mike
01-29-2010, 09:56 AM
That is very likely to happen, isn't MFR getting hit by some fungus now?? I have seen a lot of that dead on my place already and more will die this coming spring after green up. :D

I believe it is Rose Rosette disease that is killing MFR. Most of it has died on our place fortunately although I did see some new sprouts this past year. It can all die for all I care. Nasty stuff.

Now if only something would knock back the autumn olive....