Ask The Expert

Keeping deer out of your yard.



Q: What (if anything) is truly effective at keeping deer out of your yard?

 

A: Ken Uhle, landscape architect (and in-house deer expert) for the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, answers: “I spent a year trying different high-tech solutions, and ended up putting up a fence in my own backyard. I left my front yard open and did what we do in the parks system—simply plant things they don’t like—and then I fenced our backyard. To me, it’s a nice balance.”

For the fencing, Uhle suggests the industry standard: “the heavy-duty, black, mesh-fabric fence that runs seven-feet high, with any number of options for posts.” As for the plants, Uhle recommends a combination of ground covers (“all types of ferns and ornamental grasses, and perennials like peonies, Siberian iris, Bigroot geraniums, lambs’ ear”); shrubs (“Siberian Carpet Cypress, cherry laurel, Japanese andromeda, Little Princess spirea”); and trees or large shrubs of any type. “Just plant them above the browse line—four to five feet, so make sure the tree is seven-to-eight feet tall or taller. You can plant smaller, but cage the tree until it grows above the browse line.”