Deer?

Discussion in 'Pests, Diseases and Cures' started by Sheal, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    I noticed a few weeks ago that something had nipped off all the flowers on my young winter flowering Viburnum - I blamed the Pheasants.

    A few days ago I found that the branch ends on a young Ilex (Holly) have had the same treatment. The ends contain up to five leaves and none have been eaten, just left on the ground. It is the lighter coloured one of two Hollies planted close to each other but strangely they haven't touched the darker one. Could this be Deer? And will the Holly recover please?

    This morning I took the images below. Please excuse the snowy ones, my camera struggles when there's no other colour to focus on.

    IMG_5915.JPG

    IMG_5916.JPG

    IMG_5921.JPG

    IMG_5913.JPG

    IMG_5912.JPG
     
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    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      Deer
       
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      • Sheal

        Sheal Total Gardener

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        Thanks Scrungee. I've just been checking out footprints on the web, it also looks like Hare.
         
      • noisette47

        noisette47 Total Gardener

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        Given the height of the nibbling, more likely hare than deer. Cloth bags of human hair and strung-up CDs are reputed to repel rabbits and hare, bars of soap and metal rod 'christmas tree' shapes stuck in the ground work for deer. The bitter voice of experience ...:biggrin:
         
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        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

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          What height is the 'nibbling' up to?

          At my (previous) plot Rabbits (assuming similar eating habits to Hares) only ate low down tender stuff, and it was only when deer also started to invade that small tree stems started being bitten through.

          Fencing can stop Rabbits and Hares, but Deer fencing can be a PITA, I've often seen the local Wildlife Trust staff having to eject deer from behind fencing. It's not infallible and they also employ shooting.

          And if Hares are anything like Rabbits, they will devastate most of your garden plants unless fenced out. They even ate my Rhubarb, Lavender and Strawberries down to ground level.
           
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            Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
          • Sheal

            Sheal Total Gardener

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            Thanks Noisette. I'm beginning to think it's a Hare too, I had one in the garden regularly last summer. What I don't understand is why it's nibbling but not eating? Only seen a deer once or twice over the last year or so. I think it's time I invested in a trails camera. :)

            I've not had Hollies before, do you think it will recover or just look distorted as it grows?
             
          • Sheal

            Sheal Total Gardener

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            The Hollies are now about 4ft 6in in height and the nibbling is on the middle branches about a foot from the ground and 1 1/2 feet from the top. It hasn't touched the lower ones.
             
          • ARMANDII

            ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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            Well, you never did find out what was leaving those huge paw prints around your House did you, Sheal:dunno::hate-shocked::heehee:
             
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            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              I think the holly will recover and also think it may be hares. Your garden is too big to fence against both hare and deer. :noidea:

              I agree with @noisette47 about the human hair for rabbits and hares. not tried it myself but when I was working, back in the dark ages, a couple of gamekeepers used to collect bags of hair from us on a regular basis.

              The soap works for deer as we used it ourselves (although sceptics may argue that a banana in your ear keeps elephants away - it works round here as well :whistle:). Not the posh perfumed type but the old really cheap type. Hang pieces of it on the fence in small muslin type bags or on sticks around/in flower beds. About 40+ years ago Alan Bloom gave me that tip and he used it at Bressingham Gardens.
               
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              • noisette47

                noisette47 Total Gardener

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                Think of it as 'pinching out the tips to make it bush out' :) If it doesn't suffer any more nibbling, I'd tidy up any ragged ends, lightly prune the top part in spring to even it up, feed and water, and it'll be fine.
                 
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                • Fat Controller

                  Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                  You can get CCTV cameras that record on an internal SD card and that work reasonably well during the night as well, and can even send an alert to your phone to tell you when movement has been detected - not all that expensive now.

                  I'll get a couple of sample images off mine and post back
                   
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                  • Sandy Ground

                    Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                    After giving this a bit of consideration after seeing the photos, I think that it is deer that have been having a nibble. In Scotland though, it could be the rarely seen Winter Haggis!
                     
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                      Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
                    • Fat Controller

                      Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                      @Sheal - here is screengrabs from my phone of our camera. This is the absolute worst case scenario here, because it is just a screengrab and I have the camera running at normal definition to ensure I get the longest possible recording time on a card

                      This afternoon:
                      WhatsApp Image 2021-01-09 at 19.12.42 (1).jpeg

                      This evening (note, we have a wee touch of freezing fog coming down):

                      WhatsApp Image 2021-01-09 at 19.12.42.jpeg
                       
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                      • DianneW

                        DianneW Keen Gardener

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                        That is of interest..FC would love to see what goes on in the dark hours...
                        Back to deer we were coming back from...cannot remember now(sorry if I have told this already) we had to pull up quick as there was a small deer lying in the road..we investigated and Mr.W wished to move to the side bank...poor deer...A car pulled up to see or whatever...and said do you need a hand to put it in your car..more in sign language form...oh no we said and we backed off and they took it....sad but that is life not just in France of course...mind you my sister is different to me she would try and eat anything, her choices of course...
                         
                      • Fat Controller

                        Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                        Thankfully not much around here @DianneW - the odd fox, quite a few cars, and early morning dog walkers.
                         
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