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Smart Landscaping: Landscaping Tips from Gary Tasker

Apr 01, 2013 04:31PM ● Published by Ryan Frisch

Gary Tasker of Tasker Landscaping weighs in on how to plant a butterfly garden, plants deer like to eat, and invasive species to avoid planting in New Hampshire.

How to Make a Butterfly Garden

Different species of butterflies have different preferences of nectar, in both colors and tastes. A wide variety of food plants will give the greatest diversity of visitors. Try staggering wild and cultivated plants as well as blooming times of the day and year. Groups of the same plants will be easier for butterflies to see than singly planted flowers.

Some varieties of flowers which are easy to find and grow include aster, black-eyed Susan, butterfly weed, and coreopsis. Gary also suggests adding a water feature to your landscape to attract butterflies.

What Do Deer Like to Eat?

Some people might want to consider establishing plantings in wooded areas to create a better habitat for deer, while other homeowners are faced with hoards of hungry animals munching away on their prized shrubbery. The following is a partial list of trees and shrubs eaten by deer.

Preferred or Best-liked

  • Yew
  • Cedar, white or arborvitae
  • Apple
  • Sassafras
  • Maple, mountain
  • Wintergreen
  • Maple, striped
  • Dogwood, alternate leaved
  • Dogwood, flowering
  • Sumac, staghorn
  • Maple, red
  • Witch hobble
  • Basswood

Second Choice

  • Elderberry
  • Elder, red berried
  • Ash, mountain
  • Cucumber tree
  • Cranberry, highbush
  • Jannyberry
  • Arbutus
  • Honeysuckle
  • Hemlock
  • Wild Raisin
  • Blueberry, highbush
  • Dogwood, silky
  • Dogwood, red osier
  • Dogwood, round-leaved
  • Willow

Readily Eaten

  • Greenbrier
  • Ash, white
  • Maple, sugar
  • Arrow wood, maple-leaved
  • Oaks
  • Grape, wild
  • Birch, yellow
  • Birch, black
  • Chestnut
  • Hickory
  • Cherry, choke
  • Cherry, wild black
  • Witch hazel
  • Spice bush
  • Elm Choke berry, black
  • Arrow wood
  • Honeysuckle, bush
  • Walnut, black
  • Butternut
  • Hazelnut
  • Juneberry or shadbush
  • Holly, mountain
  • Holly or winterberry*
  • Ash, black
  • Blueberry, low sweet
  • Blueberry, sour top
  • Blueberry, low bush
  • Leatherwood
  • Starvation or Poor Food
  • Pine, scots*
  • Pine, pitch*
  • Beech
  • Sweet gem
  • Aspen or poplar
  • Gooseberry and currant*
  • Buckthorn
  • Raspberry and blackberry
  • Steeplebush
  • Laurel, mountain*
  • Rhododendron*
  • Pine, white*
  • Pine, red or Norway*
  • Balsam*
  • Birch, paper
  • Birch, gray
  • Ironwood, or hop hornbeam
  • Blue beech, or muscle wood
  • Meadowsweet
  • Cedar, red*
  • Juniper, pasture*
  • Cherry, fire or pin
  • Hawthorn
  • Laurel, sheep
  • Dogwood, grey-stemmed
  • Locust, black
  • Huckleberry, black
  • Tamarack
  • Alder
  • Spruces

* This species is often browsed heavily enough to appear to be second-choice food in areas where food is inadequate.

New Hampshire Invasive Species

The New Hampshire Invasive Species Committee (ISC) is an advisory group for the Commissioner of the NH Department of Agriculture, Market & Food, Division of Plant Industry (DAMF). The DAMF is the lead state agency for terrestrial invasive plants, insects, and fungi species.

The rule AGR 3800 states that no person shall knowingly collect, transport, sell, distribute, propagate, or transplant any living or viable portion of any listed prohibited invasive plant species, including all of the cultivars, varieties, and specified hybrids. (See the NH Department of Agriculture’s website at to review the complete set of rules.)

What You Can Do

There are many things that you can do to help control the spread of invasive species and preserve native flora and fauna:

  • Minimize impacts to natural vegetation, soils, and drainage.
  • Learn how to identify invasive plants and know how to tellthem apart from native species.
  • Control invasives on your property by following recommendedpractices.
  • When landscaping, ask your local garden center or contactyour County Extension Service about alternative plantings.
  • Become active in local or regional intiatives to controlinvasives.
  • Report the occurrences of invasive species to the Departmentof Agriculture.
  • After working in an area with invasive species, check forsoil, or propagules that may have adhered to clothing, shoes, vehicle tires,etc.

New Hampshire Prohibited Invasive Plant Species

Acer plantanoides

Norway Maple

Ailanthus altissima

Tree of Heaven

Alliaria petiolata

Garlic Mustard

Berberis thunbergii

Japanese Barberry

Berberis vulgaris

European Barberry

Celastrus orbiculatus

Oriental Bittersweet

Cynanchum nigrum

Black Swallow-Wort

Cynanchum rossicum

Pale Swallow-Wort

Elaeagnus umbellata

Autumn Olive

Euonymus alatus

Burning Bush

Heracleum mantegazzianum

Giant Hogweed

Iris pseudacorus

Yellow-Flag Iris

Ligustrum obtusifolium

Blunt-Leaved Privet

Lonicera x bella

Showy Bush Honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica

Japanese Honeysuckle

Lonicera morrowii

Morrow’s Honeysuckle

Lonicera tatarica

Tatarian Honeysuckle

Polygonum caspidatum/ (Falopia japonica)

Japanese Knotweed

Rhamnus cathartica

Common Buckthorn

Rhanmus frangula/ (Frangula alnus)

Glossy Buckthorn

Rosa multiflora

Multiflora Rose

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