Protecting Plants from Animal Damage

Animals around the yard are a wonderful sight during the winter for entertainment but we also need to make sure they aren’t damaging our plants! Let’s get into protecting plants from animal damage and how to protect your landscape investments.

When the snowfall is low, it takes less energy for animals to migrate. They may not need to roam into our yards for food if food is abundant in more secluded areas. When it’s easy to do so, without deep snow, take a stroll on one of these warm days to check your trees, shrubs, and even vines, like clematis, for damage. When animals get hungry, they won’t spare much.

What does animal damage look like?

Deer damage looks jagged and pieces of bark and foliage ripped off. Rabbit damage is more clean cut. The damage may even wrap around the entire branch which will kill that branch. If you are seeing damage or if you want to protect your beloved plants, we have various repellents and physical barriers to help keep them away.

rabbit clean-cut chew marks on a tree trunk

Rabbit chew marks on a tree.

Reminder, if we start getting a lot of snow fall, reapply repellents and according to product directions. The cute, light-weight rabbits can’t reach the top of your tree guards without snow but with piles of snow around your trees and shrubs, it will make it possible! Make sure they can’t get above the guards and repellents.

What works best to prevent plant animal damage?

Various sprays, pellets, and physical barriers should be used to keep them away. Unfortunately, if they are hungry enough they will eat despite any offending smells that typically keeps them away. That’s why the use of physical barriers may be the best method in extreme and harsh winters.

Animals can also get used to certain smells so using at least two different kinds of smells or repellents works better. Repellents will also need to be reapplied and frequency depends on the product and weather.

If it seems like deer and rabbits have already made your yard into a safe spot,  you may have to start using repellent or fencing on the perimeters of your yard to start teaching them it isn’t a good spot to feed and make a home!