Tuesday, November 12, 2013

SOMETHING IS EATING THE BARK ON THE FRUIT TREES

I was riding around not he zen machine and passed by the pear trees and noticed this.  I about fell off!  (not so 'zen', ha).






Something has stripped and/or eaten the bark of of two fruit trees.  They just so happen to both be the pear trees.  All other trees, knock on wood, were ok, so something was appealing about these two in particular. 












I thought maybe deer, though we've never seen any at the farm yet.  And any deer would have eaten off the leaves on the upper part and they look fine.  Rabbits?  Raccoons?  Something else?  It almost looks like something from ground level was standing up?




I decided I needed a temporary fix to cover the bark a bit and maybe deter whatever it is.  So I remembered reading that many animals don't like strong herb smells.  I had a basil plant in a pot that had gone to seed and I was going to pull it up anyway.  So I did, got out the clippers and some garden twine.




I cut up the long thin branches of the basil and tied them onto the trunk of each pear tree.  I left the leaves on and tied pieces all up and down the lower length of the tree.  I'm sure if someone stumbled across my temporary remedy, they might assume it was some sort of Blair Witch Project type offering.  Hey, maybe that would scare them off, ha.




Does anyone have any suggestions?  Will I lose the trees with the bark stripped? Most of what I read said they should bounce back, especially with Fall/Winter here and it goes dormant.  Still, I'm worried, of all the trees I planted, these were the most trouble free so far and were doing well, dang it.



















26 comments:

Tryin' to Reason said...

That looks a lot like a deer rub. When a deer is marking territory it will scrape like that and use it's musk glands to mark it's territory.

Katie C. said...

I've seen some people wrap chicken wire around the trunks of young trees and some people wrap burlap strips too. Does this work? Beats me!

Katie C. said...

I just remembered one thing that DOES work but only until it rains. A friend of mine puts jalapenos in the blender with a little water to make a spritz. She sprays her garden fence line with this to keep the deer away. I know this works because we had a plant with a couple of the peppers. One got eaten...just one.

1st Man said...

Really? Thank you for that info! There have been deer in the area, though we've never seen any when we are there. I will keep that in mind, thank you again, and thanks for stopping by!

1st Man said...

Oh, chicken wire is a good idea. Thank you for that suggestion.

1st Man said...

And thank you for this one too! I wouldn't mind doing that and spraying around the garden area too, 'just in case'. Thank you!

Jane and Chris said...

Oh,please don't use the pepper method...other animals accidentally rub it into their eyes.
I'd go with chicken wire.
Jane x

Unknown said...

A local orchard swears by Irish Spring soap. They cut the bars in half, drill a hole in the middle and hang it from the tree so they dangle near the trunk. They go through a huge tub of bars each year and say it works fine and doesn't hurt anyone.

Midnite Baker said...

I think this looks like deer damage. Been years since i have used this but blood meal keeps a lot of critters away. Any garden center should have it. And using chicken wire will help too. Good Luck!

Thomas Generazio said...

Oh no! I definitely see a trip to the hardware store in your near future. Let us know how it goes.

Gammy Tammy said...

1st man, did you figure out what it was? I shared a recipe for a Homemade Deer Repellent with a friend that stated it works as well, if not better, than commercial brand deer repellents. I've never had deer problems, so haven't used it, but you might give it a try, although it does contain cayenne pepper, which some gardeners don't care to use.

I also have a friend that set up a motion camera to catch the culprits causing so much damage in his landscaping. Helped him to figure out how to deal with the damage. The nighttime images he caught were pretty cool!

oh, here's the recipe: http://gammysgardenrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/12/homemade-deer-repellent.html

Gammy/Tammy

Tewshooz said...

We had some of our pear trees attacked by rabbits when it gets cold. Just about killed most of those young trees. If completely girdled, the tree will probably die. We bought some aluminum flashing about 24 inches wide and circled the trunk and tied with baling wire (use whatever you have). When it snowed and as it deepened, we just raised the flashing. Two high layers kept the racoons out of the trees as the flashing was too slick for them to get a foothold. Now, after 15 years, we have had no damage to any of our young pear trees. The flashing lasts forever. We make the circle big enough so the tree gets air and sun so they are left on all year, about 12 inches across. Hope this helps you

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Sounds like deer to me. We make a little circular fence around our tree's to prevent the deer from enjoying themselves.

2 Tramps said...

Deer are usually in the rut about now and the bucks tend to scrape and rub small trees to mark territories. We have our regular trees protected with 6 foot high circles of field fencing. Our orchard area is fenced with 6ft high cyclone fencing panels. And each fruit tree trunk is wrapped with chicken wire to protect it from rabbits. Hopefully, this will be enough!!

Kris said...

Yep, definitely deer. Last year they stripped my white pine saplings. This year they totally destroyed 2 crabapples and are now stropping against my butterfly bushes.

1st Man said...

Jane and Chris, thank you that reminder. We must think about that, and I didn't. Thanks. I am working on a solution, well, at least a way to protect them, I hope to implement this weekend.

1st Man said...

Ha, that's too funny, I have a post about Irish Spring soap for mice repelling! Never thought about that for deer. Thank you!!

1st Man said...

Yes, the more I from you all and do some googling it might just be deer. I like the blood meal idea, I've seen that at the garden center. I'll pick up some of that. Thank you!

1st Man said...

By the way, have missed you! Hope all is well.

1st Man said...

Ha, I hear ya. I have something I'm working on, hope to get it up this weekend. Dang varmints! ;-)

1st Man said...

Nothing yet but I'll do some more checking this weekend. Thank you for the link. You always have such neat info. Thanks!

Oh I'd love to get a couple of those cameras. I think the call them 'trail cameras'? I might have to try that sometime.

1st Man said...

Hmmm, good idea I like that. It could be rabbits, there are definitely little fuzzy bunnies all over the place. I wonder if there is something appealing to pear trees? I hope they make it, they still look healthy up high, fingers crossed. Thanks for the info, it's great!!!

1st Man said...

I am thinking the circular fence idea myself. I don't want to lose the trees, I am attached, ha. Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Maybe I'm having a two fold problem, rabbits AND deer, ha. I never made one orchard area, I like the trees scattered around, perhaps that might end up being a mistake, LOL. I am working on some ideas. I like the chicken wire as well.

1st Man said...

Seriously? Dang! Bad deer! Bad deer! Ha. I will have to figure out something, and keep an eye on the other trees too.

Midnite Baker said...
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