How to Keep Deer and Other Wildlife Out of Your NY/NJ Landscape

October 28, 2020 |

As the temperatures get colder outside, you may notice more deer coming into your backyard to graze on your arborvitae. You know that deer, rabbits, squirrels, and mice will make their home in your NY/NJ landscape unless you do something about it.

How to Keep Deer from Eating Your Plants

There are deer-resistant plants available, and you can protect your favorite deer-loving plants by installing them closer to your home. But deer and rabbits will eat anything—even plants they hate—when there’s not enough food available in the dead of winter.

For example, oak trees have boom and bust years. The boom, also called mast years, occur every two to five years. In between mast years, oaks produce smaller acorn crops.

If you have an oak tree nearby, deer and squirrels will not need to eat your perennials and shrubs as much during mast years.

But watch out for the intervening years where there’s hardly any acorns. You’ll notice more damage to your Rockland County, NY landscape during those bust years that have fewer acorns.

Don’t forget that squirrels, voles, and rabbits gnaw on tree bark, eat bulbs, and dig tunnels to get to their favorite food sources.

Voles will tunnel their way through your yard and will chew on turfgrass, tree bark, and birdseed when food is scarce. They ruin lawns when they create their roadways across it.

Their cousins, moles, will tunnel underneath the soil. Rabbits and other mammals will eat grass, and when that’s scarce, they’ll eat your best shrubs.

Here are tips to keep deer and other critters from eating your landscape plants during the winter:

  1. Clean up all leaves – Then, voles won’t have easy access to tunnel aboveground to your favorite trees.
  2. Keep mowing the lawn – Deer and rabbits will have less turf to snack on in the fall. Plus, your presence will scare away wildlife from your Bergen County, NJ backyard.
  3. Remove birdfeeders or invest in birdfeeders where squirrels can’t spill the seed. Rabbits, mice, squirrels, and deer will eat the spilled seed that’s lying on the grass.

Learn more: 6 Ways to Keep Your NY Landscape Clear of Deer

  1. Move woodpiles away from your home. Mice can make cozy nests in woodpiles—and if your woodpile is close to your home—it makes it easier for mice to travel to your trees and shrubs.
  2. Plant deer- and rabbit-resistant plants on the perimeter of your property to discourage wildlife from moving further into it. Here are some plants to consider:
    • Allium
    • Anemone
    • Astilbe
    • Autumn fern
    • Azalea
    • Arrowwood
    • Bayberry
    • Bee balm
    • Basil
    • Catmint
    • Daffodils
    • Daylilies
    • Boxwood
    • Bush cinquefoil
    • Viburnum
    • Spruce
    • Juniper
    • Cypress varieties
    • Ornamental grasses
    • Liriope
    • Pachysandra
    • Vinca.

Will Your Shrubs Recover after Deer Grazing and Other Wildlife Chewing on Them?

If you have healthy shrubs and perennials on your property, they should recover from deer damage. At Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape, our crews will trim away the ruined stems so your shrubs will come back to life.

The health of your shrubs and trees determines how well they bounce back after winter. At Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape, we provide plant health care for your woody ornamentals during the growing season, so they’ll recover from wildlife gnawing on it.

Read more: Why You Need a Certified Arborist to Prune Your Trees before the Storm

Your Best Defense from Deer Damage is a Fence

As stated above, deer and other critters will eat shrubs and plants that they usually hate when food is scarce.

Your best defense for keeping deer out of your lawn and landscape is a fence. If your property has woodland behind it, we, at Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape, can put up an invisible fence at the edge of the woods.

An invisible fence is a thin black plastic mesh mounted on natural wooden tree stakes. The deer can’t see it, but it stops them in their tracks when they come up to it.

We also build fences that are 6′ to 8′ feet high. We build our fences underground so deer can’t crawl through them.

We can put in a double fence to discourage deer from jumping up and over or tilt the fence so that it makes it harder for them to leap into your yard.

If you’re tired of deer and other critters feasting on your favorite plants and shrubs over the winter, you need to call us at Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape (845) 708-2988 for Rockland County, NY properties and (201) 788-7191 for Bergen County, NJ properties.

You can also fill out our contact form, and someone from our office will respond to you shortly.

At Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape, we serve the following cities in Rockland County, NY and Bergen County, NJ: New City, Nyack, Stony Point, Montebello, and Park Ridge.

Sources:, “Coexisting with Winter deer and Wildlife.”, “Deer Damaged a Number of Plants in My Garden Over the Winter. What Can I Do to Prevent This from Happening Again?, “Why Are There So Many Acorns This Year? Do They Foretell a Harsh Winter?, “Effective Deer Fences.”, “Rabbit-Proof Plants.”