Skip to Content

Do Deer Eat Chokeberry? (All You Need to Know)

Sharing is caring!

Chokeberry is a beautiful plant that you can safely grow in your garden. No animals or birds will eat it because of the sour taste and the pungent smell. It might create toxicity in the stomach right after swallowing it. 

It repels most animals, insects, and aphids through its taste and smell. It is safe to plant around the garden to make the place safe. So, how about deers? 

Let’s find out below!

Do deer eat chokeberry?

Deer won’t eat chokeberry because of its sour taste and smell. Deer and other wild animals always look for grass-type leaves that don’t have any bitter taste. So, they eat different types of flowers & fruits leaves and their small plants. But the chokeberry is deer-resistant.

Since chokeberry is a deer-resistant plant, you might want to know whether both black & red chokeberry contain a sour taste and will deter most of the animals who can’t digest this taste. It will be better to avoid feeding your pets with chokeberry leaves or fruits. 

It will be a feeling of great sorrow for the pet deer. Sometimes, the wild deer may consume some chokeberry leaves if they don’t find any suitable food source. Although it’s not their regular practice, it might be a habit in need.

Black chokeberry: 

Deer can’t eat black chokeberry nor its fruits. Both the leaves and black chokeberry are toxic to deer. They can’t digest them either. If you force your deer to eat black chokeberry, they might get sick soon.

Therefore, it’s better to avoid the black chokeberry and offer other fresh grass and non-toxic plants. You can provide the fresh leaves of the flowers or the greens. They are safe instead of the black chokeberry.

Red chokeberry: 

Seeds and pits are the most toxic part of red chokeberry. They make the entire plant inedible to most animals, including deer. Other animals cannot eat the leaves because of their sour taste. For all these reasons, the deer cannot eat red chokeberry.

It’s not good for the deer’s health. It is toxic and will damage the entire taste of the deer. The berries are for human beings. We add the chokeberry fruits in making the cake that we exactly use as cherry. This cherry is the fruit of red chokeberry.

Do deer eat chokecherry trees?

Deer cannot eat chokecherry trees. They are sour and not digestive. Sometimes, your deer can mistakenly eat the chokecherry trees, which will be a big concern for its health. The sour leaves will damage the stomach and will create digestion problems.

To solve these issues, you need to give your deer the fresh green grass or the leaves of the fresh veggies or leaves. They all are safe for the deer’s health. But the chokeberry trees or plants are inedible to most animals.

Therefore, you can indeed plant some chokeberries around the garden and repel most of the rodents and deer. These animals can’t bear the toxicity of the leaves since their digestion system won’t allow them to do so.

In a nutshell, the deer won’t eat the chokecherries trees. Deer can only eat cherries in small portions. It will be a treat from you. You can offer it once or twice a month.

Do deer like chokecherries?

Deer do like chokecherries. They want to devour the cherries for the sweet and sour taste. Although deer can’t digest the sour leaves of the chokeberries, they can surely eat the chokecherries. Cherries are not toxic and don’t contain any harsh ingredients for deer.

Still, you should not give your deer many cherries at a time; they might face difficulties properly digesting. But if you have wild deer, you can safely offer them the chokecherries. They will feel happy and motivated to eat the sweet cherries.

Moreover, the pet deer must develop a habit of its own. It doesn’t need to eat everything suitable for them. You must have a diet chart, and your pet deer must follow it accordingly. Otherwise, it will get sick after eating too many chokecherries at a time.

“3” reasons why deer will not eat chokeberry

Deer will not eat chokeberry for the following reasons –

Sour Taste: 

The leaves and stems of the chokeberry are sour. And, you know that deer cannot eat anything sour or bitter. It will be a life threat for the deer if they mistakenly eat some chokeberries. 

Therefore, you can use the chokeberry plants to repel deer and other animals from the garden.

The sour taste will not let the animals and deer eat the leaves of the chokeberries. It might be a severe concern for most animals.

Digestion Problems: 

Deer cannot eat the chokeberry for digestion problems. Deer are herbivores; they only eat leaves & grass. If there is an unavailability of grass, you don’t need to offer them chokeberries. They will entirely fail to digest the sour leaves.

The wild deer sometimes eat the chokeberries and other sour-tasting trees. It’s not a big deal for them if they don’t find any suitable food source. But to the pet deer, it’s a great concern. They will fail to digest the leaves and the cherries of the chokeberries.


Chokeberries are mainly the natural repellent of deer and other animals. Because of containing different chemicals and a sour taste, it works better as a natural repellent. You cannot expect a deer to eat the chokeberry leaves.

Moreover, anti-deer plants like chokeberries are sometimes dangerous for animals’ health. Often the animals don’t find suitable food sources to eat. At that time, they might eat some portion of the chokeberry plants.

These are the 3 top reasons why deer will not eat chokeberry trees. They are the repellent for deer because of the sour taste and ultimate digestion problems. You should never offer the chokeberries or chokecherries to your pet deer to help them become healthy. 

Is chokeberry deer resistant?

Chokeberry is deer resistant. Chokeberry attracts birds but is not safe for deer since it is a member of the rose family. It is usually found in wet places. It is good in the sun or shade. Deer and birds do not like this plant because it is sour. 

High levels of flavonoids in the fruit and an acidic taste are likely to keep any animal away from it. That’s why it can easily survive the winter. Deer prefer to browse young plants. Protect with fencing or other barriers until established. 

Overall resistance changes with the season and food competition. As the season develops and other food sources become abundant, browsing decreases.

Are Chokeberries poisonous to deer?

Chokeberries can sometimes be very poisonous for deer. It can also be harmful for livestock to eat chokeberry leaves in certain situations. People usually think that all parts of plants from the Prunus family are poisonous. 

On the other hand, plants from the Photinia family are not usually fatal.

The secret is that the pit (seed) is toxic, not the fruit, which has relatively little flesh, which is dangerous. Every kind of cherry and other Prunus has poisonous pits, so eating them can cause many difficulties. 

They have amygdalin, which the body turns into cyanide, a fatal poison after they are being eaten. If a deer or other animal eats too many chokecherries, it can get sick.

What eats a chokeberry?

Not everyone will eat chokeberries. Humans, some birds, and wild animals can eat the chokeberries; there will be no problem. But the deer cannot eat and digest the chokeberry leaves and fruits.


Chokeberries are grown as both ornamental plants and food. The sour berries, or aronia berries, can be eaten right off the bush. They are more often made into something else. Use them to make a lot of different kinds of food. 

They can be used to make jam and syrup. They can also be used to make tea, salsa, extracts, ice cream, gummies, and other things made with them.

Chokeberry has antioxidants and other chemicals in it. These chemicals may be able to protect the heart and blood vessels, cut down on swelling and blood sugar levels.


Red or black chokeberries are great for birds because they are easy to get. There are flowers in the spring, and birds eat the fruit in the middle or end of winter. Fruit can last through the winter and is a last-ditch food for winter birds.

Wildlife Animals: 

Grouse, black-capped chickadees and cedar waxwings, black bears, red foxes, rabbits, and white-footed mice are some of the wildlife animals that eat black chokeberries in the wildlife garden, that is where they live.

Final Thoughts

Chokeberry trees and leaves are sour and full of contaminated ingredients. They are not suitable for any wild animals’ health. Therefore, the deer cannot eat the chokeberry trees, leaves, and fruits. Only the wild deer can eat a very few leaves from your hand. They eat them in starving conditions.

Sharing is caring!