baby maples and rabbits, etc

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesandpaws, May 2, 2012.

  1. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    We have just moved to our new home, and our yard backs onto a creek. I am considering planting some of my maples along the back fence, but am a little concerned with the local wildlife helping themselves to my 1-3 yr grafts. Do rabbits - we also have some ducks, skunks, possums, etc - tend to like nibbling on these young trees? What precautions should I take if I do decide to plant them along the fenceline?
     
  2. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Congratulations! Having the creek there will be very nice, assuming it doesn't flood, as you'll have water for your maples as needed. May it be a while before you have to move again. (Moving is not my favorite activity...) Anyway having running water nearby is always pleasant and a great climate regulator.

    I don't know about ducks, but I'll wager they might damage young plants. But rabbits are another story, they can be very destructive. Hare or browsing deer are far worse if there's a risk.

    In Normandie we have white deer and roe deer, rabbits, hare, boar and of course lots of mice and voles among the destructive animals. None are shy about coming right up to the house during the night. Any one of these can destroy young trees although in practice the boar would only do it by tearing up the ground, which has not (knock on wood) happened on top of anything small yet.

    But any maple that is not fenced against deer, hare and rabbits _will_ be damaged or destroyed sooner or later. Even late pole stage trees must be fenced. With Japanese maples in particular, their delicate bark and early leaves are irresistible to the wildlife.

    We but 1.2 m fencing around all plantings, in practice it is not very pretty but the theory is it only has to last for 10 years or so. :) For some very early ones like A. pensylvanicum the fencing is doubled to keep deer from taking the top off every year. I'm considering putting highway style fencing around the immediate 4 ha around the house, but the cost is a bit daunting.

    cheers,

    -E
     
  3. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Thank you Emery! We've only been here a week and we like the neighbourhood a lot so far, and love backing onto the creek. And yes, may it be a LONG time before we move again - I don't want to go through the stress and aggravation again any time soon!

    We have been told by a neighbour that very occasionally, deer are spotted along the creek, but our wrought iron fence is 5ft (which I know a deer could easily jump), and we have two medium size dogs (Siberian Husky and Belgian Tervuren), so I don't expect to be having to deal with any problems from them. But, I have seen several rabbits and ducks, so I want to take the proper precautions.

    For the fencing, I don't know if you have anything similar out there, but I was thinking of using some of the more sturdy, smaller hole chicken wire around the area I would plant them. Would this work? Or could I use something like this? http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Gardener...RA0N/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336074042&sr=8-1

    How high would you suggest having the fencing? What about burying it? I know rabbits can burrow, so I wasn't sure if this was a precaution I should take as well?
     
  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Frankly I'd not count on the dogs for much help, even if they sleep outside. I have a dog who loves to chase off deer, but he's lazy and also sleeps inside. My nearest neighbor has (at last count) 6 dogs, most of which are outside all the time, and he still gets lots of damage sadly. But deer aren't rare for us, we hear the barking of roe bucks, or in fall the lowing of the big stag, every day; so the dogs are pretty used to it. I used to have a Malemute who was a pretty good hunter, she could catch a rabbit sometimes which is more than our current retriever can do! :)

    And yes, deer certainly _can_ jump 5 ft, but they have to have a reason to do it also, so the fence may be somewhat of a deterrent if there's other food around.

    I think your fencing choice looks great, or the chicken wire would be fine too. That's what I use, but with rubberized mesh, and green so it doesn't show up as much. I don't bury mine because then weeding is really difficult, so I guess it will depend on the tenacity of the rabbits! I think around 3 ft is all you need to stop rabbits, although hare will get over that.
     
  5. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I would worry about the rabbits on young ones. I have had them rip the bark from young maples and dig/eat at the roots, too. I have had to wrap and put chicken wire around the trunk and base of the tree. I thought I had lost a beautiful Hogyoku when I put it into the ground in 2010 they did so much damage. Luckily it and a couple others are tough and pulled through with no apparent set back, but I would say chicken wire would be a good preventative until they are older. Even though Japanese maples aren't "sugar" maples, their sap must taste really good in early spring when there's nothing else to eat.
    Kay
     
  6. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    You are correct to worry about the damage from rabbits. I just get the plant fencing from home depot and haven't had problems (deer are a constant battle though)
     
  7. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Bullets can be a surprisingly effective pest deterrent... :)
     
  8. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Just seen that a deer visited AS palmatifolium last night, and nipped off all the lush new growth off of the top. Fenced or no, it doesn't help against a full sized animal.

    Luckily palmatifolium is the easiest of maples practically, it will soldier on... But won't gain much height this year! :(
     
  9. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Have you tried Plantskyd?? Its a product made from blood and can deter deer for up to 6 months. The smell of blood invokes the fear response in deer.
     
  10. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Not available in France that I can see. Could have it shipped I suppose but would be really costly. Sounds like nasty stuff though, does it really make the garden smell like an abattoir? Given that we attempt to plant fragrant shrubs and trees also, this could operate at cross purposes. ;)
     
  11. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Thankfully no real deer issues here, I know they can be very difficult to outsmart. Our siberian is quite the hunter though, he's caught his fair share of rabbits and birds (he's exceptionally friendly, but the moment another animal is in his yard, he slips into full predator mode).

    Don't think we have hare either, just your garden variety rabbits, so hopefully the 3 ft will be enough, but I think I might check with some of the local nurseries to see if they have any other suggestions I haven't thought of.

    These are pictures of our backyard, panning from the north fence line through to the south fence line (the property faces northwest, so the backyard is southeast), with the last three of our front yard.

    The northeast corner - second and third pics - gets some morning sun, then a bit of dappled sun thru the rest of the day - this is where I was thinking of planting some maples, maybe 2-3 dissectums in the foreground (where that flopped over whatever plant it is currently resides), with a smallish upright behind into the corner. I would welcome any other thoughts or suggestions on this idea.

    For more privacy and height - our siberian could get his head above the 6ft wood privacy fence at our old place from a standing jump, and the wrought iron fence is 5ft high - as well as to give a more Japanese feel to the backyard, we are planning to install 6ft tall bamboo fencing along the south fence line. Currently, the southeast corner gets minimal morning sun, but come late afternoon/evening, it gets a fair bit. I was thinking of planting a couple of maples here too, but I want to see how the sunlight changes there after we put in the bamboo fencing.

    I was also wondering how well a maple(s) might do in the raised bed in the front yard (and would I need to put in rabbit proof fencing as well?)... With the exception of the south end of the bed, which gets sun most of the day, it gets some indirect and/or dappled sun throughout the day due to the large silver maples at each end, which would be ideal for most maples. However, my concern is wind in this location. As mentioned before, the yard faces northwest, and Kansas gets its fair share of wind, mostly from the south and west, but obviously those north winds in winter can get pretty biting. Thoughts on this location for a maple?

    Finally, we have a pretty little courtyard (which needs a good tidying and going-thru), which I know is fine from both the sun and wind perspective, but in this location I'm a little concerned about not quite enough airflow and higher ambient temperatures than the rest of the yard. Again, I welcome any and all thoughts regarding this location (the Beni otake currently sitting there I am thinking of moving to the backyard and putting a nice red dissectum in its place).
     

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  12. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Plantskydd is made in Scandanavia somewhere I believe, so its hard to imagine it would not be available.

    No, it is not a smelly product. There is a little smell when it is first applied, but that quickly goes away. The animals can smell it, but the humans cannot.

    One thing I have done that also seems to work, but is not long-lasting, is to spread blood meal throughout the garden. That also seems to have an effect, and is good to do when leaves are popping out in spring, or when the bucks are rubbing their antlers on small trees. Plus its a natural fertilizer.
     

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  13. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Made in the USA according to http://www.plantskydd.com/.

    I have to be careful using blood meal, foxes (and maybe boar, not sure) dig where it's been used. I wonder if dogs would dig for plantskydd too. I did look around the net and saw some complaining about the smell. A quick search for plantskydd site:*.fr tells me this is not being used here.
     

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