I read on Dave's Garden Web (I think) - a site where gardeners relate personal experiences with plants in addition to the usual description/care/etc. -- that someone did have a problem with deer munching on the tops. How long ago did you plant them? Most plants will transplant better in the fall in the South. I successfully nurseryed some trees last year that were on sale in the worst of the heat and drought -- kept in pots in a shady spot in a hole in the ground the rest of the summer (watered regularly) and through the winter -- and planted them in early spring. Took them a while to acclimate, but all are well now. So if you just planted them, digging them up and potting them might help, then put deer fencing around them when you plant in the fall. Never grown evodia myself, looks lovely, nice midsummer nectar source.