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Do Deer Eat Magnolia Trees? (Explained)

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Gardening is a well-known hobby. Gardening is soothing to some people. Some people move to the countryside to absorb the magnificent beauty of nature.

However, a bunch of wildlife deer often ruins the gardens by eating the plants. Some plants are deer resistant. It is best to use them for gardening in the countryside.

Magnolias are beautiful trees that give birth to elegant flowers. How amazing would it be for gardeners if they get to nurture this plant which brings essence to the garden?

But, there rises a question. Do deer eat magnolia trees? It would be heartbreaking if deer ruin the magnolia trees by eating them.

If you are a gardening enthusiast and came across the same question, you’re in the right place. Here is everything you need to know regarding deer and magnolia plants.

Is magnolia tree deer resistant?

Yes, the magnolia tree is known to be deer resistant. However, none of the trees can be fully deer resistant. Deer depend on trees to get the nutrients needed for their survival.

If they do not find any other tree than magnolia, they will now think much before munching the twigs and trees of the trees.

Magnolia has different species of trees among which some are more deer-resistant than the other.

However, it is always better not to take any chance and protect your trees in any way that is possible.

Which magnolias are deer resistant?

Almost all the magnolia trees are pretty much deer resistant. It is not possible to fully determine the resistance of some plants as deer might eat them when they are hungry.

However, the Japanese magnolia and saucer magnolia are known to be very much deer resistant. Southern magnolia has a rich fragrance that repels the deer.

The sweet bay magnolia has less resisting abilities as its small twigs attract the deer like a moth to a flame.

Do deer eat magnolia trees?

Yes, deer do eat some parts of magnolia trees. However, mostly magnolia trees are known to be deer resistant. Deer are attracted to the tree’s twigs, leaves, and buds. If you’re living near a forest and deer have access to your magnolia trees, necessary precautions must be taken to keep them away.

Deer are very much attracted to the magnolia trees and their leaves. There are different types of magnolia trees and some of them are deer resistant.

Jane magnolia trees are beautiful trees, they are also known as the tulip trees. Mesmerizing Tulips bloom on the Jane magnolia tree during mid-April.

Even though they are quite deer-resistant still none of the trees are fully deer-proof as deer love to munch on the leaves of trees.

Southern magnolia trees produce creamy white flowers with a rich fragrance. Deer are most likely to avoid rich fragrances so it’s safe to say the southern magnolia trees are pretty much deer resistant.

Ann magnolia trees and star magnolia trees are also quite deer resistant. Ann magnolia has deep pink flowers with few petals and the star magnolia tree has flowers whiter than the clouds.

The Japanese magnolia tree is also known as the saucer magnolia is a bit different as it is well known to be deer resistant. It also has lovely pink flowers. Sweet bay magnolia is known to be the least deer resistant as deer like to munch on its small twigs.

On the other hand, the little gem magnolia is known to be effective in terms of keeping deer away. It also has a reputation for keeping insects and diseases away with its little white flowers.

How to tell if deer are eating your plants?

The favorite thing for gardeners to do in the morning is get a fresh cup of coffee and check up on their trees.

One fine morning if the garden is destroyed as heartbreaking as it might be but before blaming the deer one must identify who’s actually behind this as it will help with the prevention process for next time.

Identifying if deer are eating your plants is not very difficult. Below given are detailed explanations of definite signs that your garden was destroyed by a deer.

Jagged edges:

Deer have very small teeth on their lower jaw but they have a hard palate on the upper one. So, deer do not nibble on the leaves they just tear apart plant parts leaving jagged edges behind.


The classic method of recognizing the footprint never gets old. If the ground is soft a deer will leave a heart-shaped print. Their cloven hoof print makes them very specific for the identification process.

Types of plants destroyed:

Deer are mostly to get repelled by rich fragrance flower plants. Well, you can never tell when a deer is hungry what it will rely on. Still, if the plants with rich fragrance have been left behind then it can be considered as a sign for the deer feast.

How do I keep deer from eating my magnolia tree?

Nothing can be more devastating for gardeners than waking up one fine morning and going out to nurture their plants only to find out they have been destroyed into mulch.

Before coming across that devastating sight one can take precautions to keep deer away from feasting on his/her magnolia trees. Even though magnolia trees are pretty much deer resistant but you can never be sure what a deer might eat when it is starving.

The sweet bay magnolia is pretty tempting for deer to engulf as it has small twigs that can be easily ripped apart by them.

4 ways to prevent deer from eating my magnolia tree:

4 ways in which you can prevent the deer from destroying your soothing garden to mulch are given below.


Fencing can be the most effective way of keeping deer away. For instance, if you put up an 8-foot tall metal fence chances are low that the deer will be able to surpass it. It is also very effective in terms of keeping other animals away.

Tenax 2A120056 Economy Deer Control Fence, 8'x330', Black

Repellant sprays:

There are many repellant sprays available in the market to protect your plants. The chemicals cause no harm to the plants and at the same time keep the deer away.

You can also make repellant sprays at home if you do not want to use chemical sprays. Rotten eggs are very helpful in this case.

Concentrated Deer Repellent - Bobbex | Deer, Elk, and Moose Deterrent Concentrate (32 oz.) B550100


You can use strong fragrances in your garden and also grow a tree with a rich fragrance in front of the garden. Deer do not respond well to strong fragrances.

You can also use a foul smell such as predator urine to keep the deer away. Predator urine is available on the market.


You can surround your garden with multiple censors so that if a deer tries to enter the censor will create a loud sound to drive the deer away. It might be a little costly but is highly effective. 

DURANOM Outdoor Ultrasonic Wild Animal Repeller - Cat Deer Repellent Solar Powered, Motion Sensor, Strobe, Alarm

What else can be eating my magnolia tree leaves, flowers, or buds?

The magnolia trees mostly attract insects such as beetles, bumblebees, leafhoppers, flower flies, different types of stink bugs, etc. They also attract animals such as opossum, squirrels, wild turkeys, quails, etc.

The insects are attracted due to the nutritious pollen and nectar of the magnolia tree. The beetles are mainly attracted due to the elegant flowers and sugar from the starch.

The magnolia tree produces pollen which has high protein, making it very attractive to beetles and other insects.

The animals are mainly fond of the tree leaves, buds, and twigs as they can munch on them. The wildlife is attracted to the magnolia trees due to their countless benefits.

It is always wise to protect them in a garden to prevent any type of animal or insects from getting access to them.

Final thoughts

To sum it up, deer do like to munch on some parts of the magnolia trees such as the twigs and buds but the magnolia trees are mostly deer resistant due to the rich fragrance of their flowers. There are ways to prevent deer or other animals and insects from destroying your magnolia trees.

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