Shebe
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deer ate my blue star juniper - Will it Recover?

Over the winter, a small herd of deer took up residence in my yard in Northeastern Oregon (zone 4). For the past several years I have had about a dozen blue star junipers in my shrub garden and the deer have never touched them. I planted them specifically because I was told by local nursery staff that the deer won't eat juniper. Well, they apparently changed their minds because they munched mine. The plants are still alive, but ugly as sin as they have few needles left. My question is, will they recover? If I keep the deer off of them and care for them properly, will they become full and beautiful again, or should I dig them up and start over?

tomc
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Re: deer ate my blue star juniper

You've got a deer problem to fix before you get more trees.

It varies state by state, but see if you can get volunteer help taking deer. CT allows nearly unlimited bow hunting for example. Enquire from your fish & game.
Think like a tree
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Shebe
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Re: deer ate my blue star juniper

Thanks, but ODFW won't allow more taking of deer in our area. I am a hunter and apply for tags each year. Have been successful on many occasions. Took down a nice white tail buck last season. Unfortunately, this does little to get rid of the does and fawns that choose to reside in my yard over the winter months. I sick my dogs on them when I can to chase them off, but they come back again. This winter I will fence this garden to keep them out. I still am wondering if anyone knows if blue star juniper will repair themselves once badly eaten? They have enough green left to feed themselves and survive, but they look awful. Our Master Gardner with our extension service seems to think that they might in time, but I am not so sure and would value other input.

Shebe

tomc
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Re: deer ate my blue star juniper

Juniper is famine food for deer. They'll eat it begrudgingly when there is nothing else. Untill you fix your deer problem you can't get to your tree problem.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: deer ate my blue star juniper - Will it Recover?

I don't know, but I have always heard about pruning juniper, that if you cut too far into the hardened wood near the center, it will not regrow and you will be left with a hole in that spot:

"Junipers, however, have a so-called "dead zone" in the center of the plant where no new branches and stems are formed. If you cut within this dead zone, the plant won't be able to recover, and you'll be left with a patchy, misshapen shrub."
https://www.ask.com/explore/how-trim-juniper-bushes

That would seem to apply to your shrubs. If the deer only munched the needles off the ends of branches, they should be all right. If they munched down in to the center, hardened wood, that area will not recover.
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