Deer, rabbits, mice, voles, and other animals can cause a lot of damage on trees and shrubs over the winter months. Prevention is key to managing these garden pests. By taking steps in the fall, you can prevent damage from occurring over the winter.
These animals may feed on trees and shrubs during the winter months and severely damage or destroy plants. Damage is most likely to occur when food is scare during prolonged periods of snow cover. Mice and rabbits may girdle the trunks of small trees, effectively destroying them. Deer may devour the foliage on the lower branches of arborvitae, pines, and other evergreens. In fall, bucks rub their antlers on trees to remove the dried velvet from their antlers and to mark their territory. This rubbing removes the thin layer of bark on small trees and can seriously damage or destroy them.
Below are a few resources to help manage these critters and prevent damage to your garden plants through the winter months.
- Protecting Trees and Shrubs from Rabbits - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2011/10-12/rabbits.html
- How do I prevent rabbits from damaging trees and shrubs in winter? - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/how-do-i-prevent-rabbits-damaging-trees-and-shrubs-winter
- How can I prevent rabbits from damaging my roses in winter? - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/how-can-i-prevent-rabbits-damaging-my-roses-winter
- Rabbits: Damage Management - https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/encyclopedia/rabbits-damage-management
- Rabbits have damaged several trees and shrubs in my yard. Can I do anything to save them? - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/rabbits-have-damaged-several-trees-and-shrubs-my-yard-can-i-do-anything-save-them
- Susceptibility of Plants to Rabbit Damage - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2002/6-28-2002/rabbitdamage.html
- How can I prevent deer from rubbing off the bark on small trees in the yard? - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/how-can-i-prevent-deer-rubbing-bark-small-trees-yard
- How can I prevent deer browsing during the winter months? - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/how-can-i-prevent-deer-browsing-during-winter-months
- White-tailed Deer: Damage Management - https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/encyclopedia/white-tailed-deer-damage-management
- Deer have eaten the foliage on the bottom portions of several arborvitae. Will the bare areas green back up in spring? - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/deer-have-eaten-foliage-bottom-portions-several-arborvitae-will-bare-areas-green-back-spring
- Resistance of Trees and Shrubs to Deer Damage - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/1993/5-26-1993/damdeer.html
Voles & Mice
- As the snow melted over the last few weeks, several narrow meandering pathways appeared in my lawn. What produced them? Will the grass recover? - https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/snow-melted-over-last-few-weeks-several-narrow-meandering-pathways-appeared-my-lawn-what
- Voles: Damage management - https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/wildlife/problem/vole-tracks-grass
- Mice: Damage Management - https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/encyclopedia/mice-damage-management
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