Gophers!

Discussion in 'Maples' started by cthenn, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. cthenn

    cthenn Active Member

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    Came home to find a gopher mound very close to my new planted Acer Rubrum...grrrr!

    Now, I don't know if the little bugger was just tunneling through the newly tilled, soft dirt, or if it is actually attacking the roots. I know gophers will eat almost anything, so is it likely to be eating my new tree? It was a 10 gallon planting, so it is fairly established, but it doesn't take long for gophers to destroy something.

    I put traps in both sides of the run, and I've been fairly successful trapping them, so I hope to alleviate the problem, but how likely are gophers to eat maple trees?
     
  2. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    If when you say "gopher" you are talking about moles (what we call them in our neck of the woods), they don't eat vegetative material. The problem I have with them is that they can dig such tunnels under newly planted maples, that the root system can't get established. In addition, voles (mice with pointy noses) DO eat roots, and they use the mole tunnels to access those roots on newly planted trees. Moles know that something newly planted will attract earthworms because they are usually in better or newly cultivated soil that we will be keeping moister. So they come nosing around. The most damage I have had them do is to knock/heave something newly planted out of the ground.

    Bottom line...if you have had good luck trapping them, do it. We have been really warm here in Central Illinois this winter and the moles have done a number in my garden, they've been really active. My husband is good at trapping them, but we have woods on three sides and it's an ongoing battle, so I try not to get too stressed about it. One year it was so bad that they destroyed the entire lawn area. I had to completely reseed in the fall after we had finally gotten them under control.
    Good luck.
    Kay
     
  3. cthenn

    cthenn Active Member

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    Yeah...these are definitely pocket gophers. We bought this house in 2009, and in just 2 1/2 years, the entire backyard is basically barren of all plants, except the ones they don't eat. I've had good luck trapping them, and just today I checked my trap and I almost got him (found some fur in the closed trap). I should be able to get him sooner or later, but in the mean time I'm still worried about my tree.

    From my experience, they haven't gone after my maples (probably because the roots are so small and stringy on smaller plantings), but this is a 10g pot and had some meatier roots...
     

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