From deer antler rubbing and foraging to tree girdling from rabbits and other small animals, excessive animal damage to our trees can cause stress that can lead to diseases and pests. While not all animal damage can be prevented, there are ways to minimize damage.
Protecting your trees from excessive damage from deer, squirrels, rabbits, and more will keep them strong and healthy. Here’s how you can protect your trees all year long:
Install Tree Guards
One of the easiest ways to protect your trees from animal damage is to install a tree guard like chicken wire. These guards shouldn’t be tight around the tree to prevent girdling. Tree guards should be flexible and not kept on all the time. Removing tree guards when temperatures rise prevents moisture buildup that can encourage diseases.
We do not recommend stringing your trees with a fishing line, as animals can get caught in it and hurt themselves.
Make Sure Mulch Is Applied Correctly
When you apply mulch correctly, your tree is healthier, and you’ll be better at seeing damage from animals like mice and voles. If your mulch is pushed up against your tree, it’ll be more challenging to see burrowing activity and cause rotted bark and other problems.
Decoy owls or eagles are another way to dissuade animals from coming near your trees. Colorful windmills are also a great option as the movement can scare animals away. Move them regularly so the animals don’t get used to their presence.
There are environmentally-safe animal repellants on the market that can be applied to your trees to repel animal browsing. These repellants work by discouraging animals from being near the tree through unpleasant smells or tastes. For example, rabbits do not like the taste of dried bloodmeal, which is an effective short-term solution.
Alternatively, there are ultrasonic repellants. These devices emit a sound we cannot hear, but animals like deer and squirrels can keep them away.
Plant The Right Tree In The Right Place
Planting the right tree in the right place can also help prevent animal damage. Shrubs and other plants that animals like deer aren’t fond of can keep them away, including thorny plants, lavender, and marigolds.
Call your ISA Certified Arborist at Hansen’s Tree Service for a hassle-free estimate if your trees are suffering from animal damage. We’re here to address your tree needs and answer any questions you may have. If you have concerns about the health of your trees, contact us today.