Squirrels & Trees, Love & Hate.

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day! Squirrels are easy to love for their cunning personalities and cuteness, but they can just as easily become a nuisance when they turn to your trees for nutrition and habitat. Nevertheless, squirrels play an important role in our ecosystem and we can learn to coexist in harmony!


“A whole appreciation day, just for me?”

Bark stripping

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Stripped bark from squirrels.In years when food is scarce for squirrels (such as last year when the maple trees did not produce many seeds due to a late frost), they can resort to eating bark to meet their nutritional needs. If this is happening, we recommend offering an alternative food and water source, such as nuts and seeds, to deter them from stripping the bark. Stripping bark can expose the xylem of the tree, leaving it susceptible to insects and diseases. They can also potentially girdle a tree and cause long term damage.

Research indicates that bark stripping has a higher occurrence following a “mast year” where trees produce a bumper crop of fruits and seeds, which may correlate with a higher population of juvenile squirrels.  Here is an excellent article from Ohio State University about bark stripping.

EATING TREE BUDS

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The tender buds of a growing tree limb are a tasty treat for squirrels, but it can stunt the growth a tree and cause disfigurement. Generally speaking, this type of damage is only a nuisance and control is generally not needed.

tree trimming to protect young squirrels

In the United States, it’s best to trim your trees between November and January to avoid nesting seasons. Of course, if the tree trimming must take place during nesting, our arborists are careful not to disturb nests. Plenty of foliage should be left around the nests for their protection from predators and the elements.

Keeping squirrels out of your house

Are squirrels finding their way into your home? They can easily jump up to 10 feet from a tree onto your roof and find their way into attics, crawl spaces and chimneys to seek warmth and protection. Let your arborist know if your objective is to prevent this from happening and your tree can be trimmed to clear the house by more than 10 feet. Of course, our best advice is to find where the squirrels are entering and secure the openings.

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Baby squirrels (“kittens”) rescued from a tree.
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Jaime making a new friend on a job site.
Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.thebeckoningoflovely.com/?p=139