How to Protect Your Trees from Rodents This Winter

By: albertaarb - January 22, 2015

 By getting professional tree care in Edmonton, you can protect trees in your yard from the problem of rodent damage in winter. Voles, mice and other rodents often damage trees by eating the bark around the base of the trunk. This usually happens in winter when other food sources are scarce.

They can eat through the bark to the cambium underneath, which is the part of the trunk that transports water and nutrients and that produces new tissue. The damage that rodents cause can result in a tree becoming disfigured or it can kill the tree if it is severe enough.

Fortunately, there are certain steps that you can take in the fall to prevent this problem. Note that preventing the problem is the only solution as plants are not usually salvageable once the damage has occurred.

Winter Tree Care in Edmonton:  Preventing Rodent Damage

  • Provide Other Sources of Food
    By providing them with alternative food sources, you can discourage voles and other rodents from feeding on your trees. Sprinkling sunflower seeds on the ground can prevent tree damage if you do it at a point when food sources are particularly hard for them to find.
  • Control Vegetation Around Trees
    Rodents like mice and voles do not like being out in the open where they may be visible to predators. By controlling vegetation at the base of trees, you can make them less likely to feed on tree bark. Removing cover also happens to be the least expensive method of preventing rodent damage to trees during the winter.
  • Encourage Predators
    Hawks and other animals that eat voles and similar rodents may be more willing to come into your yard if you erect perch poles. Their presence may reduce the population of rodents in your yard.
  • Install Physical Barriers
    A tree guard is a plastic tube that is placed around seedlings to protect them when they are most vulnerable. Tree guards trap heat and moisture while allowing light to get to the seedling. A tree guard should be at least 10 inches wide so that it can be inserted two or more inches into the ground. A tree guard can protect a tree from rodent damage for more than five years.
  • Utilize Repellents
    Repellents that have an unpleasant taste but that do not cause harm to rodents can discourage them from eating bark. Thiram is a fungicide that is available as a water-soluble paint or spray and that can give tree bark an unpleasant taste.
  • Find Tree Care in Edmonton
    Tree care specialists can implement all of the methods listed above. They will also know which method will provide the best results given the conditions in your yard.

Trees are valuable landscape elements. Not only do they add to your enjoyment of your property, they can improve its monetary value as well, but only if they are in good shape. Protect the appearance of your home’s exterior by finding a service that provides the winter tree care Edmonton’s homeowners need.

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