Deer eat blue spruce

I had no idea seer would eat anything evergreen. My friend had a young 5’ blue spruce and the deer stripped it. I’m sorry but I hate deer. I assumed spiny needles would be a deterrent. Cedar seem to be safe but who knows.

I transplanted some monkshood from my mom’s garden to mine when I lived in Connecticut because I figured it was poisonous (I mean - it features in murder mystery novels!) so the deer wouldn’t eat it. Ha. If I remember correctly they did leave most of the plant, but came along just as the buds opened and ate the flowers.

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We just bought 20 acres and I love pines but maybe cedar are the way to go. Lead poisoning perhaps!

You would think that the sharp, hard needles would be a deterrent, but they can chow on those things. Even if the the mature needles were too much, the soft new ones would still be an option.

My goats eat blue spruce if given the chance. It seems the sharper and pokier, the better.
My horse has taken a chunks out of pine tree in passing, which is softer. She had piney breath afterwards :slight_smile: It concerns me that she is so indiscriminant in her chomping. I am paranoid about poison plants & make up stories where she does the same thing to yew tree/shrub. On the off chance we are wandering around in someone’s landscaping.

They just had a news story here about goats recycling Christmas trees.
They were happily munching on them in their videos.
Of course, someone had to bring up artificial trees and yes, goats will eat some of those also.
Makes senses, goats eat anything they can get their mouths around, or try to, ours did.
Is true that goats even try to eat metal cans.
They also like horse tails, not so funny to the human owning that horse.

Our deer would not touch our lilac bushes at all for weeks, then one night they had a special party and stripped them all down to bare sticks.
Hard to figure why they were so tasty that one time, ignored the rest of the time.

It is amazing what deer will eat, and survive- even thrive. We have a LOT of deer here at times in the year. 50 at a time in the fall. New babies covered with spots in the spring. On our sundeck and looking in the living room windows, licking the window glass. Touching noses with the house cat. They will eat potato leaves, and tomato leaves, and the flowers of both those plants , and squash flowers AND the spiny squash leaves,. It surprised me about the potato and tomato leaves for sure, I mean… those things are supposed to be poisonous. But they select them, while standing on grass and alfalfa (which also grows wild as well as in our fields and around the gardens). It’s not like they are starving and there is nothing else to eat. Eating the potato flowers I don’t mind that, it encourages development of the potatoes rather than the seed from the flowers. But then, the smart ones figure out that there are potatoes under the ground, and dig them up and take bites out of the more superficial ones. The deer also enjoy our indoor riding arena, it’s cool in there in the hot summer days and nice for afternoon naps, and they have to be evicted when I want to ride in there… all my horses do deer herding duty. I don’t mind them sleeping in there when I am not using it, but they then attempt to eat the fake flowers that make up my “brush” jump fillers, pull them out and tear the petals off the fake flowers. Which is a PITA. Deer are like unicorns, they prefer to live on flowers as a main food source.

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Your horse would likely eat your discarded Christmas tree too, so the fact that deer eat live trees does not surprise me at all.

Yes, they eat blue spruce, and Norway, and all firs, they don’t really like hemlock, but pine bark is okay…An interesting article on deer browse…the pictures are remarkable. Google images of ‘deer browse lines’!

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They will taste cans. If it goes down, that’s by accident. They are actually pretty picky. As browsers, they have to, well, browse. That means testing everything. They explore with their mouths like toddlers. Horses due this to some extent, but it is the full time occupation of goats.

I knew about them being browsers and not being enthused by grass, but until I owned them I didn’t realize how true it was. I suspected that, while they might prefer certain weeds or leaves, surely they would eat rich grass & clover when presented. Nope. Crabgrass (only certain kinds) and other crappy stuff, but clover or bluegrass, forget it.

One of mine recently downed a plastic plant tag before I could get to her. In her defense, it was very leaf-like.

Ours do have fun eating the discarded Christmas tree each year. Needles first, bark, under the bark, under the under the bark…