Many types of animals, large and small, can cause damage to vegetation. If severe and extensive enough, the damage may require tree removal Waterloo services. Insect parasites are a common cause of tree illness and death, but they are not the only animals that can cause damage. Wildlife can damage trees by stripping the bark with their teeth or antlers or feeding on foliage. Trees at any age may be affected, but younger trees may be unable to recover from the trauma and die as a result.
With the proper response, it may be possible to save your tree. This depends on first determining which animal is causing the damage.
Which Animals May Cause Harm to Trees?
There are many species of rodents that can cause damage to trees. Burrowing rodents, such as moles, may dig tunnels that can disrupt the roots of young trees. Mice and voles may eat seedlings. Squirrels, particularly the grey squirrel, may strip the bark from branches or stems of mature trees. If rodents are causing damage to your tree, you may notice their teeth marks, which resemble those made by the tines of a fork.
Rabbits have several characteristics in common with rodents and are often confused with them. However, the two belong to separate orders. Like rodents, rabbits may strip the bark from the stem of a tree. They leave behind teeth marks that are different from those of rodents, being more analogous to a spoon than a fork. Rabbits can also cut down seedlings and saplings. You often won’t find the removed portion because the rabbits eat it, but the remaining stem usually reveals a knife-like cut at a 45-degree angle.
Deer are common culprits behind tree damage, especially during the fall and winter. Deer are more likely to browse on any vegetation they can find during the winter months when food is scarce, which may include tree branches and buds. Browsing is indicated by a shredded or torn appearance of twigs, leaves, and branches because deer lack upper incisors with which to gnaw and bite. Male deer pose an even greater threat to trees during the fall breeding season. They rub their antlers against the trees to remove the velvet, which can shred the bark.
How Can People Prevent Tree Damage From Wildlife?
Barriers that prevent animals from accessing vegetation can be very effective. Protective structures, such as bud caps, tree guards, shelters, and tubes, are a good temporary solution but should be removed when no longer needed. A more permanent solution may be fencing around the area to keep wildlife out. Popular options include electric fences and woven wire fences. If you decide to install a fence, you must make sure it complies with applicable local regulations. You must also be sure that it is as strong as possible. Deer in particular will persistently seek out and exploit any vulnerability.
There are some plants that deer avoid because they are toxic to them, or because the deer do not like their texture or fragrance. If you have tree damage from deer, you may be able to deter them by planting deer-resistant plants around the trees. This may not stop the damage altogether, but it can reduce it considerably.
Many of the animals that cause damage to trees are prevalent. In fact, the white-tailed deer population is larger now than it was before North America was first settled by Europeans. Some areas allow regulated hunting of such species to keep the population under control. If you do not participate, you may allow hunters access to your property. If you do choose to hunt, be sure to comply with applicable regulations.
Services Including Tree Removal Waterloo
Due to the resourcefulness and persistence of wildlife, preventative measures such as these are not always effective at curbing tree damage. Martin’s Tree Service offers removal services as part of our full range of tree care. Contact us for your free consultation.