The first steps in preventing deer damage is recognizing it. Because deer have no upper incisor teeth, they tear their food, resulting in ragged, torn leaves. This is the most obvious indicator that you’re dealing with deer eating your plants, rather than rabbits or woodchucks.

Another clear indicator of deer browsing is that the damage will usually occur from ground level to five feet up. If you can see from this evidence that deer are harming your large shrubs and trees, one way of avoiding damage is to purchase plants with a canopy above five feet in height, to allow your large shrub or tree to grow and photosynthesize without being eaten.

The last obvious signal to look for is deer droppings. Deer scat is usually a pile of small round droppings. If you see this, it’s clear what pest your plants are suffering from.

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