A few posts back I mentioned one of the two Bismarck palms in my yard had been "antlered" by a deer and I was both surprised and touched by the expressions of concern for the plant. The damage was superficial and mostly affected older fronds. The crown was not damaged so I'm sure it will make a full recovery--eventually.
Here's how it looked when first planted August 2012
January 2013, just a few weeks after the damage occurred. You can see the stems of the fronds are shredded but the crown is undamaged. Note the new frond emerging from the center.
In the late fall whitetail bucks will rub their antlers to remove the velvet and prepare for the competition of mating season. The use of a palm for this process was a surprise to us as the deer needs a flexible surface to get in between the antler points and the palm seems too coarse. Then again, they have shredded leaves on two large agaves so no one ever accused them of being being very bright.
We have now placed large rocks around the palm to make it more difficult for a buck to get his antlers on it without bumping his head.
Several of the damaged fronds were cut off earlier in February. As damaged fronds brown and fall down they are removed. The new frond has emerged (right) and there's a second frond down inside waiting its turn.
See? The new frond is fully open and the palm will be just fine if the sun would only shine more. We've had a cloudy winter.
This tropical yucca also in the front yard was hit on the same night and did not fare as well
This week I cut the shredded leaves off and the new emerging leaves are damaged so it will be a while before undamaged leaves appear. It's currently near the front door and will be moved to the back of a shady border where the bare stem will be hidden and it can recover.
This is all part of living with deer in the neighborhood. They are fun to watch but so often cause enormous damage, often inventing new and interesting methods.
I feel your pain.ReplyDelete
Glad the palm is coming back so well. We're about to put a sabal minor out front. Might have to fence it off in fall.
Whatever came through and ate things even unusual for our deer, didn't touch the palm we already have.
Gardening with deer is always an adventure.
At least you have one plant the deer won't eat!Delete
I'm glad to know your plants will recover. I've also had experience with bucks polishing their horns on agaves. I made a deer repellent from an online recipe using and garlic and eggs that I spray on the agaves from time to time. So far they've left them alone. So we shall see if the repellent continues to repel them.ReplyDelete
I guess I will have to resort to a spray, but at least it will be a few months before I need it.Delete
I just planted a good-sized agave in the front yard and am sure it will need some protection next fall. All my young trees are caged already. Sigh.ReplyDelete
So far they have left the A. ovatifolia alone. Walked right past it to get to other plants. Next fall I will take no chances and will protect it.Delete
Hard to keep ahead of the little dears. Like Ragna, I use a disgusting home brew that seems to work.ReplyDelete
Since I don't have deer edibles in the front I thought I was safe, I wonder if the repellent works on antlering though.Delete
I think only physical barriers prevent that.Delete
That's why I use large rocks and sticks around vulnerable plants. They seem to walk away from any barriers.Delete
I'm happy that your Bismarkia is recovering! Sorry that the yucca will be moved to a hospital bed!
Thank you outlaw! Deer sausage is quite good, unfortunately, hunting on residential lots was recently outlawed within the city limits. They do allow the harvest of a specified number of deer which are processed to feed local homeless families.Delete
Deer die all the time Delores; Why one could be dying even as we speak. Perhaps someone's breaks go out as a deer is crossing the road. Sometimes Delores, an accident can be an unhappy womans best friend. (From the movie Delores Claiborne)Delete
As in an accidental shotgun blast from my balcony! Joe Biden made me do it!Delete
I have one of those palms if you want one. I don't want it anymore. Let me know.ReplyDelete
Thank you Patricia, I'll take a look at it when I'm over that way!Delete
You have such a great attitude about it all Shirley. I am sooooooooooo happy your beloved silver palm is pulling through nicely! PHEW!ReplyDelete
You are so nice Shirley. Even your bismarckia was hit by a deer, still you have a positive mind and patience as well. I think can't never do that.ReplyDelete
Love that the bismarkia both live on! Chamaerops humilis 'cerifera' is a beautiful silver palm that would do well in San Antonio is you're feeling "palmy" this year.ReplyDelete