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  • From: Jay Cutts <>
  • To: nafex mailing list at ibiblio <>
  • Subject: [nafex] Gopher protection
  • Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 19:56:46 -0600

I periodically have gophers take down small trees during the winter. They gnaw at the trunk at and below the surface. I've had them kill trees with 2-3 inch diameter trunks this way.

I'm in New Mexico at 7000 feet. Trees grow so slowly here that that tree with a couple inch diameter may have taken 8 or more years to get that big.

Originally I put aluminum screen in the ground around the trees when I planted them, maybe a foot or a foot and a half away from the trunk. That got messy and I was worried the roots would eventually be truncated. Now I'm considering putting hardware cloth. I read somewhere that by the time the tree is big enough for its roots to have trouble with the hardward cloth, the cloth will have started to disintegrate.

I'm still looking for ideas (other than planting a cat under each tree.) Might it work to put a couple inches of gravel around the roots of a newly planted tree? Would that keep the gophers from being able to access the trunk years later? I'm assuming that when the gophers run into a barrier of gravel, they'll go someplace else.

Other ideas? I'm not convinced the hardware cloth is a good long range solution.



Jay Cutts
Director, Cutts Graduate Reviews
Lead Author, Barron's MCAT Prep Book
Lead Author, Barron's LSAT Prep Book (2013)
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