Hillsdale Environmental Commission

Natural Resource and Preservation Hillsdale, NJ

Deer & the Residential Landscape

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Mitigating Deer in the Residential Landscape – 3 Alternatives for Homeowners

  1. Plant deer resistant plantsVisit the Rutgers NJAES website or CLICK HERE
    • Effective in low to moderate deer population areas
    • Moves problem somewhere else
    • Plants may not be native, impact on other native wildlife
    • Few ornamentals classified as rarely damaged
    • Few plants are truly deer resistant
  1. Use Repellants
    • Costly, requiring reapplication often
    • Impractical for large areas
    • Effectiveness varies on availability of other food, deer hunger, rainfall (need to reapply), attractiveness of plants to deer
    • Should be used with other methods
    • May cause plant damage
    • Less effective in high deer populations
    • Problem will continue to escalate
  1. Install  Fencing (exclusion)

Fence individual plants (tubes, netting, caging plants)

  • Labor intensive to install
  • Use of tubes can be deadly to birds
  • Good for smaller areas
  • Can be highly successful for individual specimens

Fence the perimeter (fence needs to be 6’ high or double fence spaced 4’ apart)

  • Costly
  • May need ongoing maintenance
  • Aesthetics change
  • Commercial netting can be cheaper and effective for low deer populations
  • Stockade fences can add to deer trepidation about jumping fence
  • Consider angled or double fencing which deer may have a harder time jumping
  • Town permits & ordinances must be observed and obtained
  • Fence with high-tensile woven wire effective (wire atop 6 foot fence to height of 8’)

Electric fencing

  • Not recommended due to harm to other people, wildlife.
  • Considered a short term solution unless continually enforced

See our Deer 101 for details.

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