Protecting trees from rodents is the most important task of every gardener in the autumn-winter period. The fact is that already in the second half of October large colonies of mouse-like rodents and hares migrate from empty fields closer to the human dwelling and settle in our gardens and kitchen gardens.
As a rule, in gardens these little wretches have a real expanse – during this period the gardener rarely visits his site and is not able to interfere with their feast. And if the activity of hares can be detected even in winter, then the damage caused by mice and other tailed “friends” becomes noticeable only in the spring, when the snow cover is gone.
Mouse-like rodents are usually called all sorts of mice and voles. Other rodent pests, for example, hamsters, gophers, etc., are also sometimes referred to the same category. The number of mouse-like rodents varies from year to year, but in certain seasons their number increases sharply and the damage they cause is simply colossal.
When the first autumn cold weather sets in, mice are taken to move to places convenient for wintering. In this regard, the most attractive shelters for them are cellars under country houses, barns, garbage, and compost heaps.
It is from these shelters that rodents crawl out in winter in search of food and run through holes in the snow in our gardens. A dense layer of snow effectively protects gluttonous parasites from their natural enemies – cats, owls, and other medium-sized predators.
The juicy bark in the lower tier of the trunk of young fruit trees is a special treat for mice. Saplings dug for the winter also suffer from their teeth – rodents usually eat up the bark along the entire length of the stem, and if snow falls on the not frozen soil, they get to the roots.
It is noticed that rodents first attack seedlings of apricot or apple tree. Apple trees grafted on dwarf rootstocks are also in serious danger.
The first measures to protect trees from mice and other rodents should be taken in the fall. First things first, you should clean the area of debris in which these pests like to nest. The entire tops, plant debris, weeds should either be burned or moved to a compost bin. Pay special attention to the destruction of the grass stand along the border of the site and along the fence.
How to protect tree trunks from mice
In order for small pranksters not to be able to get to the trunks of young trees in your garden, they must be wrapped with roofing material or roofing felt. At the same time, the material should be buried to a depth of 5 to 10 centimeters, and the soil around should be carefully tamped. Also, do not forget to slip burlap or any unnecessary rags under the roofing felt or roofing material, and they yourself will certainly be whitewashed with lime or water-based paint (thanks to this, your trees will not suffer from sun and heat burns in late winter and early spring).
As gardeners, experienced gardeners often use old women’s pantyhose made of nylon or fiberglass. They carefully, without leaving any open areas on the bark, wrap trunks from the very surface of the earth. Mice are not able to gnaw through these issues, and thanks to their structure, the cortex is reliably protected from heating. In addition, kapron can wrap the trees long before the arrival of autumn cold weather, and even in dry periods.