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Name: Ellen
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Question:
I need help!!!! Rabbits gridled three of my new trees last week. I am a first-time tree planter and I had no idea that this would happen and the folks at the nursery hadn't told us that this was a danger. The bark is gone. Is there any way I can save these trees? The trees are about seven feet tall. They are a crabapple, a dogwood, and an Eastern redbud. Is there any such thing as an artificial bark that I can put on them? Thank you for your help. Ellen



Replies:
Dear Ellen,

"How can I save a tree that's been girdled by rabbits this winter? Can it be saved? That depends on several factors. How large is the tree? How much bark is girdled away? Girdling cuts off the tree's transportation system and could kill it. To prevent further damage from rabbits use a cage made of hardware mesh 1/4-inch. Enclose trunk far enough from bark to allow trunk diameter to expand as tree matures, and at least two feet higher than expected snow line. To protect against mice and voles push mesh two inches into the ground. (Protecting Trees and Shrubs Against Winter Damage, MES FO-1411-B.) "
http://www.hort.agri.umn.edu/Mg/FAQ/trees.htm#Q20

Also after the fact, but here are some damage control and prevention techniques:
http://www.jeffparish.net/departments/nutria2.html

Sincerely,

Anthony R. Brach


Hello Ellen,

Sorry,

There is no such thing as artificial bark. Once its gone so is your tree. Professional nurserymen protect their stock with a flexible tube that is placed around the trunk of young trees until they reach a good size. Most retail nurseries sell tubes or can help find a source. Tree wrap may also be used. Check with your supplier. Often they will replace a tree if it does not leaf out in the spring after a fall planting. Gobs of suppliers are on the internet.

Good Luck,

Wayne Vanderploeg



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