Can Naturalized Landscaping and Deer Coexist?

This is the 17th in our series analyzing Carrboro’s Energy and Climate Protection Task Force’s Recommended Deer Cull.

Assertion 17: “Encourage naturalized landscaping instead of manicured lawns. These types of landscapes offer critical wildlife habitat, cause a decline in the use of petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, more effectively capture stormwater runoff, and reduce the heat island effect.” [page 47]

Encouraging naturalized landscaping instead of manicured lawns is an excellent suggestion. Many of the plants that cause the most complaints regarding deer damage, including tulips, hostas, and azaleas, are not native to the southeastern United States and should be avoided in naturalized landscaping. There are other plants, including American holly and southern magnolia, that are both native to our area and tend to be avoided by deer. There’s a helpful list here.

As for the native species that deer love, plant them behind tall fences so that they can thrive. Ditto with your vegetable garden.

 

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