I have one really sandy, dry spot in my yard where nothing seems to grow well and the deer can munch away just about anything too. This place is also pretty close to the house and therefore doesn’t lend itself well to large plants or shrubs. What to do? Then I thought, sweetfern. I love this plant. It grows locally and can tolerate some really dry spots; The deer don’t eat it either. The leaves are pretty and extremely fragrant as well; I used to make a tea with them. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully the deer won’t dumpster-dive on these less-palatable plants.

May the forest be with you,


Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association