Animals are great – it is so much fun to sit inside your house or sit on your porch and watch them jump around, eat, play with each other, and just be adorable. However, there are many animals that, while we see them by trees and plants all the time, aren’t necessarily beneficial for your trees.
Certain types of trees, like evergreens, don’t have many problems with animals. Other trees do. Young trees are particularly susceptible to destruction by animals.
If your trees don’t look like are thriving, it could be because you have too many of these animals in your yard:
- Rabbits will often eat the bark off of the bottom of trees
- This can allow infestations into your tree and create girdling
- To prevent rabbits from biting your trees, put some wire around the bottom
Rabbits are absolutely adorable and they are a lot of fun to watch. However, they can be really bad for your trees. While it isn’t common, rabbits can chew the bark off of the bottom of some trees, opening them up to infestations, diseases, and fungus. Gardening Know How suggests that rabbits create more damage than we recognize.
To protect your trees from rabbits, you can use wire along the bottom of the tree. Don’t put the wire on the trees, rather keep it a few inches away. You can cover the wire with decorations or whatever you like, just make sure you don’t use ivy or something that will compete with your trees for nutrients.
Rabbits tend to be particular about what trees they eat, and it does take them some time to cause damage. Check your trees every so often for wildlife damage and protect them accordingly.
- Roosting bats often go unnoticed
- Trees have a lot of insects, which bats need to survive
- More and more bats are living in trees
A long time ago, bats didn’t tend to live in trees as often as they do now. They would live in certain trees, but now they have expanded their homesteads and many trees are at risk from bats.
Any cavity in the tree will make a good home for a bat. They tend to move around fairly frequently, especially as temperatures change.
According to Bats.org, “Trees such as oak, beech and ash are particularly suitable for bats, but any woodland or tree has potential for a bat roost – especially if it has cavities in the trunk or branches, woodpecker holes, loose bark, cracks, splits and thick ivy.”
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to stop bats from coming into your trees because they are so small and you don’t notice them. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your trees lit.
- Herds of deer can completely destroy your garden and trees
- They will keep coming back unless frightened away
- Unfortunately, there aren’t many deer-resistant trees and plants
Deer are beautiful, majestic creatures that many people love to see in their yards, but beware. Deer are almost always looking for food sources and if they find your yard to be a buffet of options, they will keep coming back until they have destroyed your gardens.
You may want to pay attention to your neighbor’s yard as well – deer are likely to move from yard to yard instead of randomly choosing a garden to eat.
Deer tend to love newer foliage and young trees, which is why it is so important to protect them, if possible. If you want to prevent deer from coming into your yard, you can try to plant a lot of evergreens. They hate the taste. Trees that have a heavy fragrance will also be distasteful for most deer, according to Gardener’s Path. Deer repellents that can be sprayed around your trees are also available.
- Raccoons can climb trees surprisingly well
- They will sleep in trees, especially trees with thicker foliage
- They may appear stuck, but they most likely are not
Many people will call animal services because they think that there is a raccoon stuck in their tree, but that is almost never the case. Raccoons love to curl up in trees because they provide protection from predators. They are excellent climbers and will happily reach the highest branches. However, they aren’t always good judges of their weight. If you have younger trees, they can bend and even snap the branches.
According to the Toronto Wildlife Center, if the raccoon has been in your tree for more than 24 hours, or you see it trying to climb down during the day, then there may be something wrong and you should call your local wildlife center. However, if you just see them sleeping or curled up in a tree, just leave them be – they are nocturnal and will sleep all day long.
Animals and humans (and trees!) need to live in harmony, so of course there will be animals in your trees. However, some animals can be really bad for your trees. The best thing you can do is monitor your trees and see if something looks wrong. If so, then you can try to find a solution to your problem.
The trees in your yard have an enormous impact on the ecosystem around you. If your trees are giving you trouble, or you are worried about their health, contact a tree care professional as soon as possible. At Arbortec Tree Service, we serve the greater Denver area. Give us a call at your earliest convenience at: (303) 466-3175. No matter what, we will treat your trees like they are the most important ones in the area – that’s a promise.
Header photo courtesy of Airwolfhound on Flickr!