5 year old buck +
I'll be doing some shrub planting in my NWSG field and was wondering how long it took you to get those ROD established as well as any other shrubs you have in there. Obviously some depends on the deer browse, but I'm planning to start mine in a cage with a weed mat and hope they get a good jump in the first few years. Yours look great!
I planted mine around maybe five or six years ago no protection and they were the size of pencils. We initially put in over a thousand shrubs so it just wasn’t practical to try and protect or baby them.
I am probably in one of the lowest deer density counties in Ohio, that said it seems like every deer in the county wanted to browse or beat up everything we planted.
ROD is definitely a preferred deer food, with protection and weed suppression yours should take off great. I would think once established you could easily expect a couple of feet of growth a year.
Once the roots on ours got going good they were able to finally keep ahead of the deer, so ours probably took twice as long as they would have.
It’s nice now being able to take foot long clippings and just push them down into the spring mud to start new bushes. I’m doing that in spots to thicken the strips up and along the road in a long wet spot.