A deer exclosure is an area fenced in with tall fencing to keep deer out for the purpose of determining what effect the deer are having on the natural habitat of an area.

Becky Donaldson, Marsh Naturalist, and I studied the 50’ x 50’ foot deer exclosure on the Marsh ZimmerMan Trail last week.  We focused on 8

running-feet inside one 50’ side of the exclosure to count the seedlings and wild flowers within.

The seedlings we found within that 40 sq ft of the exclosure:

51 Ash

9 Beech

5 Sugar Maple

5 Linden

32 Cherry

1 Red Maple

2 Red Oak

The seedlings we counted within the 40 sq ft just the other side of the 40 sq feet we’d examined within the exclosure:

5 Beech, badly chomped down by deer.  That’s all.  The deer had destroyed all other seedlings.

The wildflowers  found within the 8 running-feet inside the exclosure:

Copious amounts of White Trillium, Wake Robin and Trout Lilies with sprinklings of Yellow Mandarin, Spring Beauty, Cut-leaf Toothwort and Purple Cress.

Wildflowers outside the exclosure?   Nada.  Just clumps of Ramps.

As a matter of ugly fact,  nowhere in the 800+ acres of Mentor Marsh will you find Trillium or the lovely Wake Robin except within the 250 sq. ft. of the exclosure.  Elsewhere, deer have chewed them into near-extinction.

Becky and I counted 5 deer during our walk.


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