17 August 2022
Yews are popular landscaping shrubs but they don’t last long in the face of deer overpopulation.
All yew species are toxic to some degree, but our native Taxus canadensis is less toxic than others and was used medicinally. Deer don’t read the warning labels. They love yew.
Every night they creep up behind Carnegie Museum and browse the yews along the driveway to the parking garage. They nip off the small branches and eat all the leaves. The shrubs struggle to grow new leaves for photosynthesis before the deer return.
Deer have killed the yews closest to the sidewalk (dead twigs), overbrowsed the middle shrubs (green knobs), and cannot yet reach the tallest branches. But they are eating their way there.
Don’t assume their love stops with yew. There are more delectables in Schenley Park that they adore. Soon we’ll explore more.
p.s. Just for yuks here are 13 garden plants that deer will utterly destroy. Meanwhile, did you know that Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata) is so toxic it can kill wildlife? Unfortunately its pollen triggers asthma.
(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)
4 thoughts on “I Love Yew”
Oh dear. 🙂 Could not find the article on plants the deer will leave alone. Was that a joke, perhaps?
When I try it it works. Here it is again https://www.southernliving.com/garden/grumpy-gardener/13-garden-plants-deer-will-utterly-destroy
I just say the deer are pruning my euonymus fortunei. They have now also started nibbling my burning bushes.
If only deer would eat Japanese knotweed & garlic mustard……