Landscaping

Landscaping your shoreline to make it less attractive for Canada geese and their broods is considered the most effective long-term and environmentally sound method of reducing goose problems to individual yards and lawns. Canada geese avoid using areas where plants obstruct their view of the surrounding area. Temporary measures such as fences or repellents may be necessary to keep geese from your yard until landscaping is established.

A hedge near the water with a gate to allow access can be decorative as well as effective at reducing goose access to your lawn. The hedge should be 30-36 inches tall and must be thick enough to exclude geese. Check with your local nursery or greenhouse for shrubs that will work in your yard.

Leave a dense strip of naturally occurring trees and shrubs (20-30 feet wide) along the shoreline. A narrow (3-4 feet wide) S-shaped footpath can provide access to the lake. A continuous band of emergent aquatic plants such as cattails or bulrush in the water in front of your shoreline may reduce goose use of your yard.

An unmowed shoreline buffer of native grasses and wild flowers that grow 20-30 inches tall in a strip 20-30 feet wide along the shoreline can discourage goose visits. Native grasses generally remain standing even after winter snows have compacted most other grasses. Use a mowed S-shaped footpath (3-4 feet wide) to provide access from your yard to the shoreline.

A combination of landscaping ideas may be more applicable to your yard. Suggestions for perennial plantings along moist shorelines are available from the DNR publication "Landscaping for Wildlife" available at major bookstores or the Minnesota Bookstore (800-657-3757), or the Hennepin Conservation District's booklet "Aquascaping: A Guide to Shoreline Landscaping" available by sending $4.44 to Hennepin Conservation District, 10801 Wayzata Blvd. #240, Minnetonka, MN 55305.