Protecting your Landscape from Big Game Damage

Throughout our region we are fortunate enough to encounter all kinds of wildlife. They inhabited this area first and we over took their migration paths and feeding grounds. As majestic as they are, moose, elk, deer and even buffalo can wreak havoc on newly planted and established landscapes. Big game animals tend to be in our neighborhoods in the fall, winter and spring. As the snow melts, they return to higher elevations for the summer months.
There are a few strategies to deter wildlife from our landscapes. Use these strategies alone or in combination to protect your valuable landscape from big game damage.

Use Wildlife-Resistant Plants:
No plant is ‘wildlife-proof’. If animals are starving, they will eat anything available. However, some plants tend to be less palatable to wildlife. If your home is in an area frequented by wildlife, avoid disappointment by choosing these plants:
• Spruce
• Buffaloberry
• Cotoneaster
• Juniper
• Lilac
• Potentilla
• Serviceberry
• Spirea
• Viburnum
• Hawthorne

Apples, crabapples, birch, willow, roses and dogwood are best avoided as these are preferred by wildlife.
For a complete list, click here: http://dev.mdlandscapinginc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/GardeningAroundDeer.pdf

Repellents:
Commercially made repellants such as Plantskydd™ are effective when applied as directed. Apply repellants at intervals throughout season for best results.

Scare Tactics:
Wildlife don’t like unfamiliar sounds, lights or movement. Lights on motion sensors or a well-trained barking dog can be helpful.

Predator Urine:
This is a natural way of keeping wildlife out of your yard. A few drops in placed in strategic areas around your property can keep game out for 1-3 weeks. Animals eventually get used to the scent and other tactics need to be used at this point. Available from predatorpee.com.

Wildlife Fencing:
A physical barrier has proved time and time again to be the most reliable way to keep big game away from your plants. Fence off individual trees, groups of trees or entire properties.

Dealing with wildlife can be tricky.  On one hand you want to protect the investment of your landscape while being as respectful to nature as possible. Being flexible and ready to use multiple strategies is often the best approach to dealing with wildlife on your property.