My first case of “dumpster-diving” in the Catskills. I have witnessed deer on the eastern slope of the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County (Town of Gardiner) browsing Norway spruce trees one other time. The needles of Norway spruce are extremely prickly and deer stay away from them, unless they are quite desperate. I guess I’d eat anchovies if I was starving too. A member in Sullivan County called our office out of concern that her white pine and Norway spruce trees were losing their foliage from the bottom-up due to some disease. I had to visit the property, since one of the trees was a spruce and I doubted deer-browse would be the culprit. I was wrong. Instead of fungi defoliating the white pine/spruce trees, it was  hungry deer. 

The white pines were browsed more, but this spruce tree has lost its lower branches due to browse

Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association