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View Full Version : Do Deer eat chrismas trees/firs?


Rumor_Watkins
02-03-2011, 08:11 PM
My douglas fir from christmas isn't dead yet. (sue me - I like it in my living room!)

Anyways, instead of pitching it out with the garbage, I'm thinking of plopping it outside in the forest. We've had a particularly snowy winter here, and maybe the deer would like a snack?

Do they eat this kind of stuff? Or would I be wasting my time?

johnpost
02-03-2011, 08:18 PM
their diet changes to trees in winter. they prefer new tender growth but will prune a fir tree to standing height in winter.

Rumor_Watkins
02-03-2011, 08:20 PM
their diet changes to trees in winter. they prefer new tender growth but will prune a fir tree to standing height in winter.

so they'd dig it?

Jackmannii
02-03-2011, 09:38 PM
Deer will eat virtually anything, if hungry enough.

That's why "deer-resistant" is a relative term when applied to plants/trees.

Cluricaun
02-04-2011, 07:26 AM
Deer are pretty much herbivorous rats. They can, and will eat anything they can fit in their mouths.

JKilez
02-04-2011, 08:23 AM
It is a given that they are herbivorous scavengers; but, does anyone know if they will eat *dead* trees like the one referenced in the OP? Living in a place with lots of deer, I have never them strip something that has been felled. That could just be because they had many better options, though.

bouv
02-04-2011, 08:23 AM
Huh...I'm surprised they eat coniferous trees. I would figure that the pitch and other nasty stuff that's in them would be a deterrent.

johnpost
02-04-2011, 09:15 AM
they prefer non-pine conifers for greens.

they eat dead grass and dead tree material.

Rumor_Watkins
02-04-2011, 09:22 AM
It is a given that they are herbivorous scavengers; but, does anyone know if they will eat *dead* trees like the one referenced in the OP? Living in a place with lots of deer, I have never them strip something that has been felled. That could just be because they had many better options, though.


The tree is not dead - i'm not sure where you got that from my OP?

It's green and still sucking up water (though I think it's stopped doing that yesterday since i hadn't filled it up in 5 days or so)

Markxxx
02-04-2011, 10:27 AM
There's only one way to find out for sure, so try it and report to us the results of your experiement.

TruCelt
02-04-2011, 10:45 AM
I always feed my Christmas tree to the holly hedge out back. They love the acidic mulch, and I can just toss it between the hedge and the wall where it doesn't show.

As far as I can tell the deer have never chewed one, but they break down pretty fast and are just sticks by Spring.

JKilez
02-04-2011, 11:41 AM
The tree is not dead - i'm not sure where you got that from my OP?

It's green and still sucking up water (though I think it's stopped doing that yesterday since i hadn't filled it up in 5 days or so)
Unless your fir is sitting in a big pot of soil in your living room, it is essentially dead. It may be still green and wicking up liquid, but as soon as you put it outside it will dry out and/or start to rot. It is not like it will suddenly regenerate roots and live to next season. From the deer's perspective it will be a dead tree.

CPomeroy
02-04-2011, 12:03 PM
My experience with planting coniferous saplings is that they love pines but will avoid spruce, which is why I only plant spruce now. End result is that the type of tree may make a difference. I am not sure if it the tree being "down" would matter or not.

Edited after looking at the OP closer, my experience is that deer like douglas fir as well.

Gary Robson
02-04-2011, 02:03 PM
There's only one way to find out for sure, so try it and report to us the results of your experiement.I've tried it. I put the tree out in a snowbank, and the deer walked right by it without so much as a sniff. I finally tossed the tree in the beaver pond. The beavers found a use for it.

Gbro
02-04-2011, 06:40 PM
It is a given that they are herbivorous scavengers; but, does anyone know if they will eat *dead* trees like the one referenced in the OP? Living in a place with lots of deer, I have never them strip something that has been felled. That could just be because they had many better options, though.

We fall red cedar for the deer in the deep winter (like right now) they come running to the sound of the chain saws.
The loggers have deer all around them browsing the tops left behind.
Just this week reports were coming in that deer are eating Black Spruce. This is not a common occurance. They do eat Balsm Fir in winter. The old times would say that eating Balsm was a winter tonic.
It is next to impossable to grow red cedar trees around my hunting shack deer will chew through the nylon mesh. A 6' fence is almost the only way to give a cedar a chance. I have been struggling to grow them around my sauna for years.

t-bonham@scc.net
02-04-2011, 11:18 PM
I believe that the Minnesota Zoo had a program where they collected Christmas trees that they fed to the elephants.