Squirrel Damage to Evergreens

(Question)

Dear Master Gardener
Many thanks for your quick reply a few days ago concerning my loss of evergreen branches due to very aggressive squirrels. Yes, the snip is at an angle which confirms your thinking about squirrels doing the damage. I am concerned that the snips continue and would like to prevent or stop it. My sister, a master gardener in Vancouver, and I have been debating using Halt Cribbing along the fence that the squirrels use and is also chewed. Would this be useful and could I also apply it to the cedars? sparingly?
Again my thanks

 

(Answer)

I sympathize with your problem. It is very difficult to see a healthy tree being destroyed by pesky critters. As mentioned in our earlier post, luring the squirrels away from the tree is an option. However, as one pest control company said to me- as long as I keep on providing shelter and food (in the form of bird seed) the squirrels have no reason to leave.

From my research, it appears that the Halt Cribbing is a wood preservative and is predominately used on fencing or barn stalls. I would not recommend it being utilized on living plants. As a safe alternative I would suggest Skoot. Skoot is an animal repellent that is readily available at garden centers. It can be sprayed or painted on the tree. Make sure to follow directions carefully. I have used it successfully as a deterrent to rabbits peeling of the bark on  Paperbark Maple, Seven Sons, Yellowwood trees.

Good Luck!