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Planting under deer eaten rhododendrons

2 months ago

The deer have destroyed the first 5 feet of all my many rhododendrons in north central CT. I've kind of given up on keeping the deer away, so was wondering if it makes sense to cut away some of the stripped branches and plant something else under the rhodys to fill in the gap and let the tops of the rhodys stay for height. The only thing the deer don't eat in my yard are andromeda and what I believe is dog hobble or dog laurel (see pic). Any thoughts on if it would work? Related, is it possible to buy large (4 or 5 feet tall-ish) shrubs? If I plant the ones that typically are in nurseries they'll take forever to get big enough.

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