maple bark munchers

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Tony Puddicombe, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Tony Puddicombe

    Tony Puddicombe Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    Some critter has been munching bark on a local maple in Vancouver ,BC. I was sent pictures by a customer and was told it is probably A. palmatum or A. circinatum. Has anybody seen such damage on bark,or know what is the perpetrator. I have not been able to visit the site yet,but wanted to know if such damage has been seen elsewhere. I am surmising rat or squirrel chewing but am not sure.
     

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  2. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Tony,

    Deer could certainly do this if there are any present. Hard to tell how high the damage is from the pictures. Otherwise a squirrel would seem the likely culprit, although that's a lot of damage from a squirrel. My experience with mice/rats is that they go for tender stem bark, and usually leave more mature bark alone. A hare might be another option, they can get quite high up when they stand on their hind legs.

    Sadly, it looks to me like the damaged limb would be best taken off entirely.
     
  3. Schattenfreude

    Schattenfreude Active Member

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    Given the height, it appears that a buck or moose has rubbed its antlers on the tree. If the damage does not circle the limb, the limb might survive.

    Kevin in KC
     
  4. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I would put my money on Mr 'Woodchuck' typical trait ripping the bark to file his teeth down, definate gnawing marks on the bark, deer would leave tell tale signs, slot marks in the ground also it's to early for them to be 'thrashing' trees plus they tend to go for more rougher trees which helps them remove the velvet off their antlers and it's a few months off that period.

    Just look around to see if you can find some burrows near by,they also leave a musty smell, i think you will find he is the 'prime suspect'
     
  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    For me not antler damage as the edge is pretty clean, which I don't see with the rubbing. So some kind of munching as the thread title suggests, around here deer would certainly be the likely culprit. Didn't think of Moose, or how much wood a woodchuck could shuck! :)

    Kevin is right, there is a good chance the limb would survive, but for the wound to heal over would take many years (if it did at all) during which time rot or mushrooms would likely damage the structure. And in the mean time the foliage would have supplies cut by half or more, and so wouldn't look in top form. YMMV but for me better to swallow the pill and do the surgery now.

    cheers,
     
  6. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    emery.. if a wood chuck can't chuck wood :) Here is a pic of a set of bull moose antlers and as you can see there are no sharp edges that could scrape off that amount bark and do the damage that's on the tree, the ends of the palms are all very rounded so no cutting edge to tear into the tree.

    Think it would be fair to say it's definately a rodent thats done this damage.Did think of beaver at first but they would start at the bottom because they are trying to fell the tree and not just rip bark off , plus the gnaw marks would be more prolific.

    And on another note pic 1 shows my Sango kako in 2009 top left as you look at pic ,and this is what it looks like today.Just goes to show how much growth certain JM can put on over a short period of time, also note the lack of JM in pic1 :0
     

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