[NAFEX] hungry voles and tasty trees

tanis grif tanisgrif at yahoo.com
Fri May 6 23:54:27 EDT 2005


Discussion in CAPS.  I hope it helps.


--- tin man wrote:

> I have been building an orchard here ....  
> I keep six-foot-square and six-foot-tall fences around each tree, since I'm
> simultaneously (insanely?) keeping milk goats, who approve heartily of my efforts
> at tree planting (yum)
THIS IS WHAT I TRY TO DO FOR DEER EXCLUSION.  AMAZING HOW MANY TREES I'VE BEEN ABLE
TO PROTECT BY SCAVENGING FENCE MATERIAL OFF THE CURB.
>  
> My biggest trouble is with what I'm pretty certain is meadow voles.  They tunnel
> through the dead grass under the snow and eat the bark off the trees. Girdled
> seven last Winter. (I grafted tips from them onto new stocks, so I think I've
> saved most of them, but lost several years' growth). I've had tree wraps suggested
> to me, and clean cultivation.  The latter is out for me both because the orchard 
> is steep, and because I don't want to lose the grazing around the trees.
CAN YOU CLEAN-CULTIVATE ONLY INSIDE YOUR GOAT EXCLUSIONS?  THIS IS A P.I.B., THO W/ 
GRASS GONE, YOU CAN SEE EASILY WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THAT VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE
TREES.
>  
> Tree wraps would be difficult, because many of the stocks I use are many sprouts
> close together or many low branches on a stock, and I graft them all, to increase
> the probability of at least one "take" (I probably don't need to do this, because
> my percentage is quite high, but it's hard for me to use two inches off a 18"
> scion-twig and throw away the rest) Also, these voles burrow, and I couldn't get a
> tree-wrap below the soil line without injuring roots.
RECONSIDER TREE WRAP OR FOIL OR HARDWARE CLOTH OR OLD WINDOW SCREENS.  ARE YOU SURE
THE VOLES MAKE THE BURROWS, OR DO THEY MOVE INTO MOLE APARTMENTS?  CAN YOU REGULARLY
DISTURB OR DESTROY THESE TUNNELS IN THE AUTUMN?  INSTALLING THESE TRUNK PROTECTORS
AND COLLAPSING THESE TUNNELS IS DIFFICULT, AS THEY ARE INSIDE THE GOAT EXCLUDERS,
BUT WORTH IT BECAUSE THE EFFORT WILL ALLOW TREES TO REACH MATURITY!
>  
> I'd like to try a deep conical mulch of gravel, to keep the snow cover thin right
> next to the tree, create an environment uninviting to the voles immediately around
> the tree, and discourage burrowing (sometimes they burrow down around the roots
> and gnaw the tree completely off 3" below grade)
I DON'T KNOW IF W.VI HAS SAME VOLES AS WI, BUT THIS SURE SOUNDS LIKE THE MOLE-VOLE
TEAMWORK!
>  
> But has anyone tried it abd found it to work? How about whitewashing the trunks? 
> Does anyone know how to stop goats from stripping bark off apple trees (they'll do
> it even to old ones)
I TRY TO LEAVE AT LEAST A TOKEN TRUNK WRAP ON TREES-- BIG PROBLEM IS BUCKS RUBBING
ANTLERS IN LATE SUMMER.  THEY MARK (DESTROY) LARGER TRUNKS THAN YOU'D THINK.  DON'T
KNOW HOW GOOD A PROTECTION YOU'D NEED FROM GOATS WHO WANT TO EAT BARK. INCH-&-A-HALF
MINIMUM MESH?  
>  
> Thanks!
>  
> John Leyzorek
>  


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