one of cedars in my 30 year old hedge has lost it’s bark around the base about the height i’d expect a mouse to chew. i heard if bark is disrupted like this a tree will die. is there anything i can do to make sure this doesn’t happen leaving a big hole in my manicured row.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
A tree bark guard may be the answer to stopping the pest from nibbling bark from your cedar. They come in a variety of sizes and lengths so your best bet is to look on-line or contact your local nursery or garden centre. Before doing this, it is wise to measure the trunk circumference and the height of the affected area so you can purchase the correct size. If you are handy, guards can be made relatively easily, again looking online, there are many options from cardboard, plastic or metal.
If this pest is persistent, you may have to keep a close eye on the other cedar trees in your hedge and be prepared to put guards on them all.
It may be time to take a close look around your garden to see where these little mice or voles could be living. Removing piles of leaves or mulch in corners, dead branches or other such debris may be worth while doing as these spots provide protection and make an ideal home.
There are also various products on the market that, once scattered or sprayed around the affected area, act as a deterrent – again ask at your local nursery or garden centre.
With regards to whether or not your tree will die due to its injuries, this is hard to determine, only time will tell. The more extensive the damage, the higher the chance of demise, but if you can stop further nibbling, plants have a remarkable ability to regenerate.
Hope this information is helpful.