[NAFEX] Ginda's disappearing apples
William C. Garthright
billg at inebraska.com
Wed Oct 10 10:14:54 EDT 2007
> I believe raccoons are only interested in ripe apples. If the apples
> were unripe the culprits are almost certainly squirrels.
Thanks for that info. Due to the late freeze, I had only four apples on
my (very) young trees, but three of them disappeared while still green
(I picked the fourth). They were very large apples. I thought they'd be
pretty big for a squirrel to haul off, so I was wondering about raccoons.
Or how about opossums? I've seen them around here (I'm in town). I
suspect that they'll take apples and other fruit, won't they?
> I manage a lot of home orchards where squirrels are a huge issue and
> this was a moderate squirrel year where I’m located
From all I've heard, it's a bad squirrel year here, since the late
freeze removed most of their natural food (such as maple seeds, in my
neighborhood). I wouldn't mind shooting them for supper, but I'm in
town. And I'm WAY too tenderhearted to poison the little tree rats.
(And, practically speaking, there are squirrels all over town just
waiting to take over any empty territories. I imagine that poisoning
would be a non-stop proposition.)
Instead, I've been feeding them, and I haven't had the problems I've
heard from others (chewing up tree branches, stealing tomatoes from the
garden, etc.). And my fat squirrels seem to be on the alert to keep
neighboring squirrels out of the yard. On the other hand, I had a hard
time keeping them out of my strawberry patch (netting alone didn't
work), and I didn't have much fruit of other kinds to protect. Still, I
had a bigger problem with birds this year (also because of the late
freeze, I believe).
But I'm thinking I'll have to try a combination of chickenwire and
bird-netting next year. I don't know if that will work, but I have to
believe that full squirrels are going to be less of a problem than
starving ones. After all, when I'm working in the yard and feeding them
peanuts, they eventually get so full that they won't even make the
effort to walk over and beg for more (I see them lying in the shade,
watching me work!). I'm sure that alone won't keep them out of the
fruit, but they might be a little less willing to work for it. :-)
Lincoln, NE (zone 5)
During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible
commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church
... imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of
witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.
Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and
never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
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