One item you may need to consider is winter deer protection. A few years ago we learned that in fall and winter, the enzymes in a deer’s stomach change so the animal can digest woody plants and evergreens in particular! With ever more deer per square mile in our region, deer fencing is now in our wheelhouse. Anchored with sturdy oak stakes, we put this deer fencing around woods edge plantings or favorite plants browsed in the past. This project needs to be undertaken now and during mid to late November, well before the ground freezes.
We also spray a deer repellent on plants that are composed of sulfur, hot pepper, and garlic. The smell turns the deer away but does not harm them otherwise. For canes of oak leaf and lace cap hydrangea and stems of witch hazel, we apply small garlic clips. One or both of these strategies is recommended in conjunction with deer fencing.
For protection from harsh winter winds, we spray a clear anti-desiccant solution on rhododendrons, hollies, mountain laurels, leucothoes, andromedas, and boxwoods. The main ingredient is pine sap. Again we do this in late November and early December as the weather will permit: a dry day with sun and temperatures above 40 degrees.
To sign up for a winter protection program, contact our Plant Health Care Manager, Reese Crotteau, <email@example.com>