American Holly (Ibex opaca) deer resistance...your experience

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Hi folks! We're in North Eastern MD and one option for a privacy hedge is American Holly. Several sources (including MD Extension if I remember right) say it's deer resistant, but others have said it's not. Might be that they were talking about another type of holly. From my research so far, it's clear that some holly isn't. Experiences? I realize nothing is deer proof. Thanks!
 
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Welcome mattjans. :)

Ilex Opaca is said to be highly deer resistant but don't let that fool you. Resistant means deer are unlikely to eat it but there's a chance they will. I thought the same with a couple of young hollies I planted a few years ago. One was chewed to the ground, the other badly damaged. Ilex as a species is not completely deer resistant.

I would consider something else for the hedge. To me, the cost of the plants and replacement if they are devoured is not a risk worth taking.
 

Meadowlark

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I'm located within its native range, have a large population of deer, and never see the Holly eaten by deer.
 
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Great info. Thanks! Anyone have experience with planting distractor crops? We have 1.5 acres and could plant something tastier in the back yard (hedge is for the front)
 
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American Hollies are a little slow to get established but once they are established they can grow 12 to 24 inches a season. One tip that is very important for any evergreen holly is to make sure you don't plant it too deep in the soil. Keep the root flair exposed well for gas exchange.
 
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I have Holly in a foundation line out front and deer do not eat them. It takes a lean year for them to eat the ivy but I have seen that happen.
 

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