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Do Deer Eat Redbud Trees? (All You Need to Know)

Deer are opportunistic herbivores that will leave no chance to satiate their hunger. Deer are also called selective eaters for their picky eating tendencies. Garden owners become restless just seeing them far, far away. 

If you are concerned about your Redbud trees, then you are in the right place!

Do deer eat redbud trees?

Generally, deer do not want to eat redbud trees, but they sometimes eat them when food is scarce. Some deer eat the buds and barks of the eastern redbud trees. Redbud trees do not attract deer, but the hungry deer munches on redbud trees during scarce seasons.

The population of deer is increasing rapidly, but the food remains the same, so some deer almost eat everything because of a shortage of food to mitigate their hunger. Here are some species of redbud trees deer interact with.

Eastern redbud trees:

Deer love to munch on Eastern redbud trees. They will eat the foliage and flowers. Eastern redbud trees are small trees that bloom their flowers in the spring.

It grows mainly in the eastern part of North America, and the bud’s color is mostly lavender-pink. The tree holds plenty of buds of all sizes.

Western redbud trees: 

No, deer do not eat Western redbud trees. This tree does a reasonably good job as a deer-resistant tree.

The western redbud tree is a deciduous tree that is 10-15 feet tall. These trees mainly bloom in early spring and winter. The color of the flower is light and deep magenta.

Texas redbud trees:

Texas redbud trees have a distinct aroma and leathery or prickly leaves. Their aromatic foliage keeps the deer away. So, deer do not eat Texas redbud trees.

Texas redbud tree is a small deciduous tree, and it falls under a variety of large shrubs. These trees are attractive, and their bark has medicinal values.

Weeping redbud trees:

The Weeping redbud trees do not attract deer, but they attract insects. Deer do not eat Weeping redbud trees. The weeping redbud tree is a deciduous tree that can grow up to a maximum of 20 feet. They mainly grow in well-drained soil.

American redbud trees:

Deer do not generally show interest in American redbud trees. So, they are considered deer resistant. However, hungry deer are less picky and are more likely to eat American redbud trees.

The American Redbud tree grows in loamy, moist, alkaline, and acidic soil. Their branching system is irregular and crown-shaped.

Do deer like redbud trees?

Redbud trees are generally not liked by deer. Redbud trees contain toxic poison, which forces deer not to enjoy poisonous trees. All Redbuds are usually unappealing to deer except the eastern Redbuds.

Deer like to eat the buds of eastern redbud trees. So, the deer often damages these trees. Eastern redbud trees are small, so the deer easily get to reach them.

Deer also sometimes eat the barks of the eastern redbud trees when they have a scarcity of food around. They have to eat the bark of these trees to survive.

Are redbud trees deer resistant?

Yes, almost all Redbuds trees are deer resistant. But there is an exception for the Eastern redbud trees. The deer generally eats the buds of these trees during the early blooming stage.

The deer like to take small bites from the leaves of the eastern buds trees. They are often seen to eat the buckle of these trees when they are in need of food. These behaviors increase during the winter season.

That is why most of the time, it is found that deer damage this eastern redbud. But this is mainly seen when there is a massive scarcity of food, and the deer has to only rely on this.

Are redbud trees poisonous?

Yes, the Redbud trees are poisonous. They contain a toxic essence called saponin. This poisonous essence destroys the appetite of the deer. This is the primary reason why the deer do not like these trees.

Though this saponin cannot do much harm to the body of the animals, they have an awful smell that keeps most of the animals away from it. Many foods contain these saponins, and these toxic saponins can be destroyed if the food is well cooked.

This poison generally harms fish more. Despite being poisonous, these trees have great ornamental and medicinal values.

How to prevent deer from damaging your redbud trees?

Deer are notoriously known for their damaging characteristics. You can save your trees from deer strikes following these easy steps.

Fence around the trees:

The Redbud trees should be fenced with wire or other fencing materials. The fence should be 8 to 10 feet tall because the deer can jump inside the fence and damage the trees if the fence is short.

It should be fenced strongly so that the hungry deer cannot damage it. The gaps or holes of the fence should be tiny so that the deer cannot reach the tree leaves and buds.

The fences should be made in such a way that it allows the trees to grow. 

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Use deer repellants:

The deer repellent spray can be kept away from the Redbud tree by using the deer repellent spray. The spray should be done to the whole tree so that the entire body of the tree becomes sticky.

The essence of the repellent spray will help destroy the hungry deer’s appetite. The spray can be made by using egg and water.

The mixture should be made in the ratio of 1:4. The egg will be one portion, and the water will be four portions. This mixture sticks well to the plant and serves the purpose of being deer resistant.

There may be other homemade ways of making deer repellent that may drive the tastes of the deer.

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Use light and alarm system:

The purpose of these lights and alarms is to deter the deer.  The signals do not actually harm the deer. Instead, it indicates that it could hurt them.

These lights and alarms can keep the deer away from the Redbud trees. The sounds of the warning will be fearful to the deer, and they may leave the Redbud trees without any further due.

However, you need to comply with the local rules about using flashes and sirens. You do not want to upset your neighbors.

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What animals eat or damage redbud trees?

Animals and pests both eat or damage Redbud trees. Even though Redbud trees are not desirable to animals, they consume parts of them when needed. Humans, too, need Redbud trees for various occasions.

Here is some stuff you need to be aware of to keep your Redbud trees safe.

Mammal pests:

Cardinals feed their chicks with the seed of these trees. Other animals may eat these Redbuds when food is scarce like deer eat eastern Redbuds when they need food.

Though these are unappealing to them, they have to eat those leaves, buds, and barks for their survival. Some deer may damage the beauty of these plants used for ornamental purposes for the sake of food.

Other animals such as wild turkeys, squirrels, grosbeaks actively consume Redbud trees.

Different insects:

Different caterpillars like leafhoppers, treehoppers, weevils, tent caterpillars may destroy the Redbud trees. These caterpillars can damage the trees’ health if not detected early.

But if they are detected before the flower blooms, the insects cannot harm the buds.

Final thoughts

Though Redbud trees may harm some animals because of their toxic essence, they have great ornamental and medicinal values. Most of the redbud trees are resistant to deer. There is only one exception to the eastern redbud tree. The deer only eats them during dire times.