Monday, January 9, 2017

Evergreen Deer Browsing Notes

I have noted deer browsing on evergreens before (deer-doing-bonsai). While traversing through former pastures and hay fields on Shaw Island I noted the deer have been heavily trimming the evergreens. 
Douglas fir encroaching into the old hay fields have been clipped to low bush level excepting a few that are somehow able to getting a leader past browsing height.

The trees then pass into a poodle cut phase with a bushy bottom and top and a cropped area in between at browsing height.

Douglas fir are not the only cropped evergreens. The deer also crop the junipers.

One defense the junipers use is that cropped parts of the tree become thorny. This is a characteristic of young junipers.

The stand of junipers below has a thick bushy and thorny bases and more typical branching higher up.

Below is a picture of a mixed stand of Douglas fir and grand fir along a trail route between old hay fields. Both were being browsed and heavily cropped.

Grand fir branch

The above Douglas fir is just getting going after lots of previous browsing. This tree has some added protection in that it is growing on the edge of a thicket of rose.


Elizabeth said...

Shaw Island must have more deer than Lummi Island - never seen that there.

Gary Lange said...

Are the pictures from the UW Cedar Rock Preserve?

Dan McShane said...

Gary: The junipers are at Cedar Rock as is one other pictures. The rest were elsewhere. I had a bit of time post my other work to take a hike at the Preserve.