Deer & Rabbits

Out Back Nursery has developed these lists to help you select native plants that are less attractive to deer & rabbits as a food source. They generally only browse these plants if they are starving.

Deer ResistantRabbit Resistant

Protect young & favorite plants!

Corrugated Plastic Bark Guards can protect young trees from animal browsing and antler rubbing.

Buckthorn Solutions

Replace Buckthorn with native plants.

These are excellent plants for sites that have light to partial shade. Add beauty, diversity, and natural food sources for songbirds to your woodland area.

Buckthorn Replacement

What's wrong with Buckthorn?

Native to Eurasia, Common Buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica and Glossy Buckthorn Rhamnus frangula were introduced to Minnesota in the 1880's as ornamental shrubs. Both species are extremely adaptable to our Minnesota climate, and are now found throughout much of the state. These plants are rapidly invading wetlands, woodlands, prairies, river valleys, agricultural lands, and your neighborhood.

Why is Buckthorn so invasive?

  • They have a growing season 58 days longer that our native plant species.
  • Their seeds can lay dormant in the soil for six years.
  • Their seeds and fruit contain allelopathic chemicals that inhibit native vegetation growing nearby.
  • Their seeds can germinate in full sun or shady locations.
  • Buckthorn seeds can float on water for a week and remain viable.
  • They have no natural predators.
  • Buckthorn re-sprouts vigorously after basal pruning.

Reasons to remove buckthorn:

Buckthorn kills native plants!Native plants cannot naturally compete with Buckthorn. Both Buckthorns are found in many forest understories, wetlands, prairies and river valleys. Native plants are the natural food source of our songbirds. When Buckthorn is all that remains, the birds eat the Buckthorn berries instead. Buckthorn kills songbirds!When native plants disappear from an area where Buckthorn is dense, birds eat the berries of Buckthorn. However, the fruit of Buckthorn causes a severe, laxative reaction in the birds. Hence the name Rhamnus cathartica. If Buckthorn berries are the only source of berries in an area, the birds will eat the berries & excrete repeatedly until they become dehydrated and weak.

Fact Sheet

Photos & management:

Friends of Out Back Nursery, Inc

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center 12805 St. Croix Trail Hastings, MN 55033 651-437-4359 Cardinal Corner Newport, MN 651-459-3880 West St. Paul, MN 651-455-6556 Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 3675 Arboretum Drive P.O. Box 39 Chanhassen, MN 55317-0039 952-443-1400 Minnesota Native Plant Society P.O. Box 20401 Bloomington, MN 55420 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Horticultural Society 1755 Prior Avenue N. Falcon Heights, MN 55113-5549 651-643-3601 Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association P.O. Box 130307 Saint Paul, MN 55113-0003 651-633-4987 651-633-4986 National Audubon Society The Prairie Enthusiasts West Central Wisconsin Chapter P.O. Box 112 Boscobel, WI 53805 715-246-5975 Blue Thumb Program Rice Creek Watershed District 4325 Pheasant Ridge Drive Suite 611 Blaine, Minnesota 55449 University of Minnesota Extension Service Gardens, Lawns & Landscapes Wild Ones