Results/Conclusions Growth for all three species was significantly decreased when exposed to deer browsing, but species were not equally impacted. Inside the deer exclosures, Q. macocarpa grew fastest and R. cathartica grew most slowly. Outside the exclosures, the order was reversed with R. cathartica exhibiting the most rapid growth. Increases in light, soil moisture, and leaf chlorophyll content corresponded with increased growth for all three species, but these variables impacted seedling growth much less than did browsing. Similarly dramatic results are seen with survival for the two native species. Two-year seedling survival inside the exclosures was 93% for both Q. macrocarpa and F. pennsylvanica, but only 48% and 55% respectively in the control plots. R. cathartica had similar two-year survival inside (87%) and outside (84%) the exclosures. As with growth, the species survival rankings were reversed by protection from browsing. When protected, Q. macrocarpa fared best and R. cathartica the worst. When unprotected, R. cathartica had the highest survival among the three species by a large margin. Our results suggest that deer may play a substantial role in facilitating the current R. cathartica invasion into the forests of western Minnesota.