More than "wascally wabbits"

Discussion in 'Maples' started by copperbeech, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    All this cold and snow cover coupled with an unchecked rabbit population has resulted in extensive damage to several of our younger smaller JM.

    At first one is grateful for the significant snow cover as it does provide protection from that record setting cold. But it also allows for the rabbits to reach higher into the branches of the dwarf maples. They eat all these tender branches.

    I have no doubt that 2 of my maples will not survive.

    Yesterday I went out and removed some of the surrounding snow! As well I sprayed the tree with some deer repellent that I had leftover from last year.

    Very frustrating.

    Have you experienced similarly?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  2. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    marengo usa
    Yep, rabbits and deer. I used to like seeing them outside, now I let the dogs out as soon as I see them. It will be nice when the trees get large enough to not have to worry about it but the dwarfs, I think they will always need protection. :-(
     
  3. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    KS -> northern AL, USA
    For me, it's the $#%&^@!* tree rats that are the biggest problem. Chewed my dwarf wisteria and a little crab apple I had planted in the raised bed along the front of the house down to just the trunk and one main branch. SO pissed. The crab I don't care too much about, but the wisteria is a hard one to come by; dug up the latter on the last nice day we had, potted it, and it's now in the garage until spring. Makes me very happy I covered my two maples in the front; it doesn't appear they've gone after any of the trees in the backyard, though I'm sure spring will tell a different tale...
     
  4. Schattenfreude

    Schattenfreude Active Member

    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    6a • Independence, Missouri USA
    The rabbits got to my little Sensu this past month.... nibbled it right down to the graft! Lately they've gone after some smaller rhododendrons. It's so frustrating!

    Does the tree netting work by chance? Or do rabbits chew right through that, too?

    Kevin in KC
     
  5. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,383
    Likes Received:
    918
    Location:
    Normandie, France
    Copperbeech, I'm sorry for your losses. I feel your pain, although we have no rabbits to speak of in our part of Normandie. But there is little more frustrating than losing trees to fauna, it has happened over and over in spite of protections. Sometimes deer will move fencing out of the way, then bite the tops off, or walk over the plant and break the stems. I try to protect everything, but sometimes it seems like fighting a losing battle. Not to mention the unsightly fencing everywhere.

    Some day I hope the plants will be big enough so that they will be immune. But it's hard to imagine...
     
  6. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    For smaller dwarfs, you can get a roll of chicken wire fencing. Two winters ago, I needed to pick some up and I found it at the big box home improvement store in their garden center section. It worked well, just drove some bamboo and wooden stakes (what ever I could find on hand) and circled the dwarf tree with the chicken wire fencing. I gave enough room around the tree so that they could not reach any of the branches. I think it was about 30" tall and the radius depended on the width of the tree. It was a higher gauge wire so it was easy to work with and the rabbits left everything alone.

    If you are not sure what I'm talking about "chicken wire fencing", here is a picture that I found on the net in a gardening blog (Nov 19th post). They have it on the outside of their garden- http://landgirlat59.blogspot.com/

    Population control is the other option. We had a suburban coyote move into the area last Summer and I have not seen any rabbits since. But my wire fencing is in the garage just in case the rabbits return.
     
  7. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    I've found a trusty .22 rifle with a scope does wonders for critter control. So far, no problems to speak of with rabbits. I've bagged over 150 squirrels and probably 20 + chipmunks in the past couple of years. The only real rodent problems I have left are gophers and voles. I think voles are the worst!
     
  8. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    Wow K4. Impressive stats, you should go pro!

    If any of maplesandpaws's "tree rats" migrate East, they will quickly realize "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." when they hit Dickson, TN.
     
  9. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    I so should have done this but hindsight is "20 20". I am not a young chicken and I can tell you that this winter is like no other in its severity in well over 30 years and maybe more.

    I have been now sprinkling around the base of the trees the "production pieces" in our multi cat litter boxes hoping that smell would deter the rabbits. But given the sever cold the odour is probably minimal.
     
  10. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    The guy from the garden blog was putting a lot of work into it, as you should for a vegetable garden. But for me, I went out and bought the chicken wire at first signs of eating, which was about January. I was able to get the wood stakes and bamboo rods into the semi-frozen ground on a sunny day that was above freezing. It was quick and easy. I am sure if the rabbit was determined, he could have dug under. But I think it was enough to deter him, because maples are not their choice in food, except if its an easy meal. I think the rabbit saw my chicken wire and figured it was not worth the trouble.

    If they return, I encourage you to give it a try. They always hit the very slow growing dwarfs, which makes it even more devastating and very upsetting. Its not too late. Once spring arrives they will not be so desperate to eat your trees (in my area, its always January when they get desperate enough to eat dwarf maples). As an added bonus, you will have it on hand for next winter.
     
  11. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Wall, NJ USA
    I have had problems with rabbits in the past. I purchased a product from A.M. Leonard called Frost Guard. These are plastic vented domes that are 13" at the base and 15" tall and they are vented. These work great for dwarf and small new plants. You need to order the hold down "U" spikes separate. Well worth the cost for protecting miniatures. They also protect the plants from wind as well.

    Ed
     
  12. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    915
    Location:
    nr Orléans, France (E.U.)
    Save a tree: eat a rabbit.
     

Share This Page