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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering about everyone's experience with red osier dogwood. I'm thinking of adding it next spring to a wet area thicket I've started working on. I'm in southern MI so I know it will have to be caged. Will it get wiped out after cages are removed?
 

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The only RO Dogwood I have that survived was caged for many years. I eventually removed the fence and the deer hammer it every year but it is mature enough that it keeps coming back.

Just plan on caging it until it gets well above where they can reach it.
 
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If they eat it like that it's not worth the hassle. Just plant greys or silky dogwood and call it good. I have a million and the deer don't bother it
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The only RO Dogwood I have that survived was caged for many years. I eventually removed the fence and the deer hammer it every year but it is mature enough that it keeps coming back.

Just plan on caging it until it gets well above where they can reach it.
That's what I figured. Pretty much have to cage everything around here. Thanks for the input.
 

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Hunting up in Western Ontario a few years ago, wherever there was ROD there were deer feeding on it. It seemed to be the primary food source at that particular time. Only time I've ever noticed such heavy use of it.
 

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Once it gets some size to it, it can take a beating. I have quite a bit of it that is mature and it does well but when I try to introduce more it doesn't survive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Once it gets some size to it, it can take a beating. I have quite a bit of it that is mature and it does well but when I try to introduce more it doesn't survive.
What size would you consider mature? Above browse height?
 

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Just wondering about everyone's experience with red osier dogwood.?
I planted several thousand of each, red osier, silkies, and greys 15+ years ago.
My reds all got eaten, even the caged ones when I removed the cages because I mistakenly thought they were big enough,. The greys have not gotten much bigger, they have spent all their time and energy spreading laterally with almost zilch for upwards growth. Was not happy with the greys in the least I would call them a monumental waste of time/space/energy. My silkies have prospered and made good cover though. If I had it to do over again I would have planted nothing but silkies out of the three.
 

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What size would you consider mature? Above browse height?
Mine are in the 4'-5' range and quite big around. I think they survived mainly because they were in fence rows to begin with and were some what protected by other things, they were never caged. Now they have slowly spread out into the area and are doing really well even though they are browsed heavily.
 

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Red osier dogwood is regarded by me as a pretty good yardstick of deer density in relation to your food sources.
It's a "canary in the coal mine" shrub, insofar that it is both quite visible and easy to observe what's going on with it, along with being somewhat preferred deer browse almost up there in the same league as oak seedlings and brambles(the browse on both of which being less obviously visible than is the case with ROD).

If just the very tips of the terminal buds get browsed off, and many buds not eaten at all, your deer numbers are under control, which is great.
If the deer are taking more than the buds, and chewing down the stems aways, you've got too many deer. Shoot some damned does.
If the stems are eaten down to the point where they're the diameter of #2 pencils(I've actually seen this before), you've got way way too many deer around for the available foodstuffs you've got. Shoot does, get DMAPs, crop depredation permits, etc., load up on ammunition and get to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Red osier dogwood is regarded by me as a pretty good yardstick of deer density in relation to your food sources.
It's a "canary in the coal mine" shrub, insofar that it is both quite visible and easy to observe what's going on with it, along with being somewhat preferred deer browse almost up there in the same league as oak seedlings and brambles(the browse on both of which being less obviously visible than is the case with ROD).

If just the very tips of the terminal buds get browsed off, and many buds not eaten at all, your deer numbers are under control, which is great.
If the deer are taking more than the buds, and chewing down the stems aways, you've got too many deer. Shoot some damned does.
If the stems are eaten down to the point where they're the diameter of #2 pencils(I've actually seen this before), you've got way way too many deer around for the available foodstuffs you've got. Shoot does, get DMAPs, crop depredation permits, etc., load up on ammunition and get to work.
Great info. Thanks.
 

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Thanks I'm considering silky too.
All of the dogwoods are great wildlife shrubs. I have tons of silky and gray dogwood at my farm, and a fair amount of red osier.
That being said, I have found that mother nature does a superior job of planting dogwood shrubs than I ever did. My plantings of these shrubs have been pretty much unsuccessful. As have been my plantings of nannyberry, ninebark, hazelnut, and spicebush.
The shrubs I've had most success planting, by far, have been tatarian honeysuckle and the ridiculously over-maligned autumn olive.
 
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