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Deer Reistant Hybrid Rhododendron?

13 years ago

I have a friend who lives near a Nature Preserve.The nature preserve is a haven for a large deer population.Typical suburban properties border the preserve.

The deer in this area are rather odd.They have no fear of humans are somewhat street smart.They walk down the streets and through yards at will.Yards are only fenced from the dwelling on back.

You can easily tell what the deer like to browse on.Those shrubs are bare from the ground to at least 4 feet.Many people have taken to surrounding plants with fencing.Most people don't grow plants with fencing and tend to grow plants that aren't bothered,such as pieris or junipers.

I see many Rhododendrons(hybrids) growing with a "mushroom" shape,along with many other shrubs.However,I do see other Rhododendron hybrids growing healthily right down to the ground in the neighborhood.A few shrubs seem to be relatively young in the 3 to 4 foot height,but I have seen a bush at least 8' x 8',bordering right on the street that is untouched with foliage right to the ground.

No,it is not Pieris,it is an evergreen Rhododendron similar in form to 'Roseum Elegans'.I doubt that the large Rhody that I see could be treated with an effective repellent,if that is a thought.

So,the deer in this area have a sweet tooth for Rhododendrons,but not all of them,any thoughts on what hybrid varieties they might not be interested in?

By the way,none of these homes seems to have a live-in horticulturist or collector in them,so knocking on the door and asking probably won't give many answers.

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Ed Ball Designs
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