10 October 2022
The season has changed and the woods in Schenley Park look different than they did a month ago. The trees are putting on fall color and deer are providing more evidence of their overpopulation in the park.
With the growing season over there is less greenery for deer to eat and there are fewer places to browse because they have already denuded many areas.
What is left has been eaten down to nubs, just visible above the unpalatable invasive plants. Below, goutweed nearly hides the tops of what used to be jewelweed while pokeweed was browsed to tiny leaves and bare stems.
As the greenery disappears deer eat tree saplings and small branches. In cases of deer overpopulation, such as Schenley Park, the young trees are foraged down to bonsai.
Schenley no longer has enough food for deer so at night they walk into neighborhoods and browse in backyards. This is happening across the city and has prompted some residents to consider a Deer Management Plan for Pittsburgh. KDKA’s Andy Sheen reports: Some Pittsburgh residents say it’s time to get deer population under control. Click on the link or the screenshot below.
(photos by Kate St. John + screenshot from KDKA)