Keeping Wildlife Out of your Landscape
Living in Prince George, it is not unusual to see wildlife, especially if you live in the outer areas. It is wonderful to see, but it can be frustrating when you see moose, or deer eating your favourite tree, shrub or plant.A deer or moose can do a lot of damage that can take years to fix, or even kill a tree in a very short time There are ways of deterring wildlife from using your landscape as their next dinner, but animals are unpredictable so you may have to try a few different methods.
Probably one of the more sure ways of keeping wildlife out of the yard is by building a tall 2.5 metre or taller fence around the perimeter, but that isn’t legal within City limits where residential fence heights ( for interior lots) can be no higher than 2 metres.
Some landscapes have a living hedge of cedars which is attractive to the homeowner, but it is also a favourite meal for deer. Wrapping cedars with burlap over the winter months when deer are most likely to come into the yard will not only protect trees from being eaten by deer, but will also protect the cedar from the winter elements such as dehydrating winds, and heavy snow loads. The burlap is placed around the trees in the fall and removed in the spring. Reemay is a frost protection blanket used to cover the garden in the spring and fall and can also be used instead of burlap to wrap cedars.
Planting deer resistant plants is another alternative. Plants with thorns, such as the different varieties of Berberis, Russian Olive, pine, potentilla, currant, gooseberry lilac, spruce, snowberry, weigela to name a few, are considered deer resistant, If you are not sure, it is often stated on the plan label ‘deer resistant’. Another option would be to plant certain aromatic plants such as chives, garlic, onions and mint around the plants deer prefer. Deer use their sense of smell and masking the odour of their favourite foods with smells they don’t like will keep them away.
There is a product called ‘Bobbex’ available at the garden centre that is a smell and taste aversion. It is applied to the plant, making it unappealing to wildlife. It consists of eggs and other ingredients that wildlife do not like. Depending on conditions, it can last 4-8 weeks before it will need to be reapplied.
Wildlife tend to be timid, so by planting their favourites near the house or buildings, that may help keep them away, a motion sensing light may also be of help. Dogs can also be helpful in scaaring wildlife from the property.
Animals are unpredictable. What works for one may not work for another and what works one day may not work the next time. When an animal is hungry is will will do almost anything to get food and when they are set in their ways it may take a number of measures to protect your landscape from damaging nibblers.
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres in Prince George:
- Highway 16 West at Kimball Road
- Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road ( closed for the season)