ILEX STARTS / deer fence hopes

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by fred*IS*the*third, May 21, 2007.

  1. fred*IS*the*third

    fred*IS*the*third Member

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    Location:
    victoria bc canada
    we've been here 3 years ...i have a blurry picture of our property 5 years ago.
    there sits a tiny little pyramid at best 2 feet high, i'm being generous

    two months ago you would have found a 10 foot tall 15 foot high variegated holly obscuring about 1/3 of the small front porch (it's a farm-in-progress and well who ever uses the front door of a farm house, eh?)

    in march i abused innocent hired help by having him cut back to the central trunk all the branches 3 feet and higher he survived the ordeal scratched but cheerful and lived to make many cuttings which i tried to root

    WHY? we have 3 acres that should be producing human food but mainly are feeding deer I AM SO TIRED OF REPAIRING AND OF LOOKING AT DEER FENCE I have a vision 5 years hence of 300 feet of spectacular holly hedge soothing my eyes and reducing the deer fence work load

    naturally most died but there appear to be at least a dozen survivors...i haven't yet had the time or the courage to see if there are roots

    I HAVE LOTS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS VENTURE/ADVENTURE...i'll post them all here, then cross-post the ones that are not really about propagation

    1. MORE TRIMMING OF THE MOTHER IS NEEDED. should I keep trying to root the trimmed branches or is it now too late in the year

    2. WHAT's NEXT, the most successful starts are in 5 gallon buckets (with no drainage holes) I'd guess of about 60-70% sand the rest compost (it's what i had on hand on a nasty rainy march day) there were 3 to 5 per bucket, now some buckets have one but many have 2 or 3 SHOULD I LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR NOW OR TRY TO GET TO A ONE PLANT PER BUCKET SITUATION SOON ?

    3. Other than urgently wanting one tree per bucket next spring, I am loathe to move things that seem happy...should I drill some holes in the bottoms of the buckets....should I dump some peat or other acid material on the top of the soil ETC ETC IN SHORT: what's to be done to keep them alive through the summer

    4. When should I transplant?

    HERE ARE FURTHER QUERIES, not really propagation related:

    FIRST:
    this tree was/is FULL and broadly spreading all the way to the ground...no hope that a deer would crawl under it (imho but i have lots to learn about deer)

    other than being variegated, I have NO idea what variety it is and whether the newbies can be counted on to do the same ??? They will have as much sun, but
    the septic lines are in the front yard, so I don't know if that optimized either moisture or nourishment

    SECOND:
    the placement was of course uninformed and unfortunate...it clearly cannot live in that location, but before losing such a pretty tree entirely i wanted to try keeping it pruned as a 3 foot high "shrub" AM I WASTING MY TIME ?

    FINALLY:
    no berries...there's a nearby scrawny "plain" holly ...are there pollination issues or is it a feature of the variety

    THANKS
    Carol
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Since Ilex aquifolium is a ubiquitous pest species in this region establishing a 300' holly hedge would not be doing anyone a favor. Some sites in western WA are starting to fill up with the stuff. Thickets of blackish green, prickly shrubbery are not an enhancement to local woodlands.

    I wouldn't count on any planting to exclude deer, they routinely slip through salmonberry stands and other native shrubbery as a regular part of their movements - and can jump quite high. If the deer fence isn't holding up maybe you need a different design, with a different support and attachment system.
     
  4. lphome

    lphome Member

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    Location:
    bloomington indiana USA
    Hello Ilex,

    We've lived on a deer "trace" for 14 years. I've seen as many as 12 deer in my yard at one time. Here's what I've learned:

    1. They will graze on just about anything , especially nursery stock, including holly.

    2. The idea of a "natural" deer-proof barrier is a Yuppie fantasy.

    3. There are four effective ways to deer-"proof" your landscape. First, identify and install deer-resistant plants; Second, use "Liquid Fence" regularly, especially during the winter; Third, strategically locate Scare Crows water sprayers--highly effective from spring through fall; Fourth, install a tall black nylon netting to re-route them into your neighbor's yard.

    Some deer-resistant plants I've found are: Linton roses, self-propagating, or single-sexed holly, Norway spruce, boxwoods, herbs (basil, cilantro, oregano, chives, rosemary, etc., Rododendrums, Spirea, barberry, dafodils, wild roses, mondo grass, river daises, fountain grass, petunias (usually), begonias.

    Plants deer eat: crocuses, tulips, azaleas, sedum, ajuga, English ivy, hosta, ameria, euonymus, hedera, hetero-sexual hollies, most border grasses, Canadian hemlock, white pine.

    Tex





     

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