Deer will eat almost anything when their favorite food sources run out…including all species of evergreens. Pine tend to be the first to go [higher sugar content in the needles], then firs due to their large, soft needles, and spruces tend to be last. But virtually no evergreens are safe.
It is generally best to first choose evergreen species which are suitable for the area in which you intend to plant, because trees ill-suited to the location are probably not worth protecting. Our evergreen tree buyers guide is a good place to start. Once you’ve made good choices, you can then develop a plan to protect them from deer.
Protecting young evergreen trees from deer damage
Once the trees are several feet tall, deer browsing damage is generally not fatal, but it will set the trees back a year or two. To assist the trees through this vulnerable time, you can buy deer repellents such as synthetic coyote urine or other chemical deterrents [Plantskydd], or you can put a home-made tube of chicken wire over the tree and stake it down…but that is a lot of work.
Sometimes it is best to “harvest and temporarily store” the deer in a climate controlled cooler, if you know what we mean.