12 December 2022
At Thanksgiving in Kutztown, PA I was stunned to see a solid wall of arborvitae bordering a neighborhood. In Pittsburgh’s East End, arborvitae is always bare from the ground to 4-5 five feet up, eaten by our overpopulated deer. Here’s a row of arborvitae at Schenley Park golf course.
Deer don’t care for Western arborvitaes, like green giant, steeplechase or spring grove. So, if you plant these, they may leave them alone.
Though, when deer are starving, they become less picky and will eat almost anything, including those deer-resistant arborvitaes. If deer are a big problem in your yard, avoid arborvitae altogether.
There are so many deer in Pittsburgh that indeed they eat almost anything. They even nibble on poisonous milkweed!
Kutztown has far fewer deer per acre.
The trees show deer density at a glance.
(photos by Kate St. John)