Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Losing yew

Last April I planted 20 1-gallon yews along the back property line
Then, in June, I planted 6 3-gallon yews along the North property line.

Due to the heat last year and lack of rain, I watered them all religiously.  They rewarded me with lots of bright green growth.

In November I gave them all a good tuck-in with hollytone and a deep drink.

Then winter came - a long cold snowy icy no-holds barred winter.  The plants scoffed at such things.

In December I noticed that my neighbors were walking their dog into my yard and letting it pee on my northside yews.  I just couldn't believe they did that!

So I put some stakes on the property line, strung a clothesline and pinned up old bits of tarp and landscape fabric to mark my territory!  It didn't look nice, but it did the trick.

Fast forward to a brief February thaw.  Camera in hand I wandered out to the back of the yard and checked on the eastside yews.


Oh my poor babies.  They were just ratty sticks!  Not only had the deer eaten off all of last year's new growth, but down into the original plant!

I was, well, furious!

I went over to check on the eastside yews, expecting the same but - hello!  No chewing at all.

Apparantly the clothesline of flapping fabric kept the deer at a distance and they didn't browse on them at all.  Sufficed to say there will be a LOT more clotheslines and flapping fabric around the yews next winter.

Actually, I may have to put some up sooner than that.  Just look at those deer heading right for the yews this morning.  Grrrrrrr.

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  1. I love tree puns. I do not love losing trees :( That sucks, Kris!

  2. Kyna - I know yews are hardy, but c'mon! I'll have to get aggressive about the deer, even though I'm pretty bushed after this long winter. ba-DUM-ba

  3. The thing that surprises me is that Yew is very poisonous to livestock.
    I don't dare toss clippings over the fence...

    They may regret that choice. My Iowa sis had her Yews nipped badly....the neighbor found several dead deer on his place....makes you wonder if the yew did them in.

    I would definitely get some rags and flappy things up. I wonder if aluminum pie tins would make noise and scare them off?

  4. It is so frustrating to lose plants to animals eating them. It used to happen to me all the time, but my nemesis was fluffy bunnies. They are pretty voracious eaters too. My yard now is completely fenced, so now raccoons play in my water feature. They chowed down on a bunch of beautiful Lobelia cardinalis last year.

  5. Deer eat your yews, they eat our hosta. Maybe we should start eating them. Try orange peels. it seems to help, that and the sacrificial hosta I plant on the deer path.

  6. I don't know what is more annoying, the deer or the neighbor's dog. I think the neighbor, they should know better! How rude!

  7. Hey Glenda - I got this from the website:

    "Though toxic to most animals, deer can graze on yew and gardeners are advised to avoid growing yew if there is a possibility of deer getting into the garden because it is a favourite food. That said, the list of plants which deer will browse is a very long one."

    So you'll have to blame something else for your sis's nabe's dead deer. And I'll have to start laying in more clothesline... quick!

  8. All the more annoying when they are such pretty pests. And I can't believe your neighbours either!

  9. When we lived at the Osage house (before the Ponca house), I had a neighbor who used to walk her dog along the road at the back of my property and allow her little dog to pee on my herb garden!!! I got so I'd watch for her to come and then open the door and clear my throat really loud when she paused at my herb garden, so she'd walk on by then... But at work, I griped about this and one of my co-workers, a dog owner, couldn't wrap her brain around why I was so mad. She told me it's the same stuff I'd buy to put on my plants and that dog owner was saving me money! Can you BELIEVE???

    I have problems with my neighbors' dogs running loose and digging on my property. Caught one of them chewing on one of my Chickasaw plum plants. My neighbors are nice people and I can't understand why they don't seem to have a clue about how much damage their dogs do. I know if I said something to them, they wouldn't be friendly to me anymore. I'm beginning to wonder now if I really want their friendship that much.

    About the deer -- I'm not sure what I'll be dealing with this year since it's my first year here. I'm hoping at least the dogs may discourage the deer and bunnies. That might -- kinda sorta -- make up for the holes in my asparagus bed, the poop in my front yard, the broken bushes and the suet cakes they ate that I made for the birds.

  10. Is it possible to wage war on the deer yet be OK with them hanging out in the yard? I'm trying to write up a treaty and present to them real soon. i love them wandering the property just under my terms. It is so frustrating but maybe you are really on to something with the flapping tarp, hmmm.

  11. I don't know who I'd be more frustrated with, the person with the dog, who should know better, or the silly deer. You are onto something with your clotheslines and such.

    I don't have deer problems, but the last few years, the rabbits have gotten more and more destructive. On Monday, I am going to get an estimate from a landscape company to get rabbit fencing installed in my veggie garden. I had wanted my husband to help me get it done when we had a week off in October, but he was glad when the week went by, and it didn't get done. Now, I'll have to be careful of my flowers, which they did more damage to last year than normal. I think I'll go ahead and plant some lettuce where they can get to it.

    I hope your yews grow this summer.


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