29 September 2022
In western Pennsylvania, where we have a high deer population, gardeners have learned from experience that white-tailed deer will eat some plants and not others. They heavily browse their favorites to the point of killing them but leave others untouched, even plants in the same genus.
Viburnum is a case in point. Gardening advice at Rutgers University’s Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance indicates that arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) is deer resistant. Pictured at top, these shrubs are healthy in Schenley Park where the deer population is more than 100 per square mile.
Deer also don’t like the Japanese snowball (Viburnum plicatum) which thrives as an invasive in Frick Park, shown below.
But they love our native hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides) and consume it to local extinction.
Read about hobblebush in this vintage article.
When it comes to viburnum, deer are picky eaters.
(photos by Kate St. John)