Fothergilla and Squirrels

tsugajunkie z5 SE WIApril 30, 2012

I'm getting to hate squirrels. Really abhor, detest, loathe and hate squirrels. The first pick is how my Fothergilla gardenii looked last year.

All indications were for an even larger bumper crop of flowers again this year...and then a tree rat took a fancy to it.

I noticed the vandal as it took off a large branch and scared it off. Knowing it would return, I threw some chicken scratch out in the corner of the yard to occupy the scoundrel and it worked...for a while. I went looking (in vain) for some bird netting and upon my return at least half the plant was now gone. I'm now ticked and went for the pellet gun. Sure enough, it returned, but drat, now there are too many witnesses out and about. Scared it off and tried the netting search again. No netting. I come back and the shrub is a quarter of it's former self and the squirrel left quite pleased with its pruning ability.

It was like watching the picture of Dorian Gray getting more hideous by the moment.

The plant now...

I had the plant for 10 years and never a tree rat problem. Rabbit nibble here or there but nothing serious.

Last year it was my 8 year old 'Bloodgood' maple they debarked.

Before that, a dandy conical 'Boulevard' Falsecypress that they suddenly preferred was a pom-pom.

Never ceases to amaze me that vermin can have varied taste buds, not only geographically, but from year to year as well.

Rant is over...but, did I mention I hate squirrels?

tj

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j0nd03

One of the very few positives about not having a mature forest around the house - NO TREE RATS! For now at least, they are staying in the woods. When the time comes, I figure I will finally get around to sighting in my pellet gun.

A true pity they have destroyed some of your nice specimens but I bet the fothergilla will recover. It may take a couple of years, but I bet it comes back.

In the mean time, you could invest in a litter of killer cats or dog breeds that are good at catching squirrels. Thing is you really need constant protection from the tree rats or they will attack when your guard is down.

If you are concerned about the pellet hurting someone, put down $20 on a Red Rider BB gun and give em HELL!! You can shoot at them all day long and reuse your ammo. I have been shot with one a few times. As long as you avoid the eyes, they are pretty safe for adults.

John

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:35AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

No one would have believed you if you told them a squirrel did that!lol!

If it makes you feel better my brothers used to hunt them on a city block like yours. They put a massive dent in the population that year. Well over 100 tails they collected...even an albino one. I'll never forget walking in the garage and seeing those 100 tails scatttered across a table.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 3:23PM
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