As with other types of plants (shrubs, perennials, etc.) used in foiling deer, "deer-resistant trees" is something of a misnomer. Few trees (especially young ones) will keep a desperate deer away.
So if you are a stickler for linguistic detail, instead of calling these trees "deer resistant," think of these trees as those that are not a deer's first picks to eat if given a choice.
Take a look at three separate lists, according to how the selected trees are used in landscaping such as flowering trees, shade or fall-foliage trees, and evergreen trees.
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- Red chestnut tree: The red chestnut tree (Aesculus x carnea) is a cross between the red buckeye tree and Aesculus hippocastanum. The latter is known to have toxic properties, which may account for why deer tend not to eat this plant.
- Serviceberry: Amelanchier laevis 'Snowcloud' is a nice choice as a serviceberry to employ in your landscaping.
- Kwanzan cherry
- Cornus kousa: This tree is also called Chinese or Japanese dogwood
- Silk trees: Although mimosa or "silk" trees (Albizia julibrissin) are deer-resistant, they are not a good choice for landscaping in North America, where they are invasive plants.
- Hawthorn trees: The thorns implied in hawthorn's name may help deter deer from eating it.
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Shade Trees or Fall-Foliage Specimens
While Sunburst honeylocust is better known for its spring foliage, tulip trees, many of the birches, and, of course, the maples are famous for their fall foliage.
- Ash (European)
- Beech (European)
- European birch, river birch, yellow birch, paper birch
- Sunburst honeylocust: Sunburst honeylocust boasts a number of other great qualities, in addition to being relatively deer-proof. The fact that it may be better suited to low-maintenance landscaping than any other deciduous specimen perhaps heads the list of those wonderful qualities, although its colorful spring-foliage display is right up there, too.
- Japanese maples
- Tulip trees
- Sugar maple, red maple