Are squirrels wreaking havoc on your trees?
September 8, 2014
By Chad Simmons, Certified Arborist, ISA TX 3676-A
It seemed, recently, that a very messy arborist was pruning cedar elms all over the Dallas area. I personally came across huge masses of leaves, branches and twigs on numerous properties after fielding some calls from concerned clients that a ghost pruner was getting at their trees. To my surprise, they were thinned at 20% and probably for air-light movement. What a nice job I thought to myself, although they could work a little neater. It could be from my crew, if only I wrote the scope of work for them.
Then I started seeing signs that Preservation Tree Services did not, in fact, prune these trees or leave the embarrassing mess. Since we never leave debris on the easement, not one leaf or twig should have ever been found randomly left behind. The obvious choice soon came to light as more debris fell from the tree, and a chirp of approval questioned my gaze. The messy tree pruners have turned out to be squirrels!
Squirrels are symbiotic with trees and August is the month they feed on tender shoot elongation from spring. At this time of year, cedar elms are their prized tree choice before moving on to Pecans in September. Squirrels can be a real problem due to the damage they cause trees. While cleanly chewing off a few branch tips won’t severly damage your tree, they also chew and strip bark from trees, which is a bigger problem. When squirrels chew bark away from large branches and trunks, it leaves open wounds that make the trees more susceptible to pests and diseases. This is especially dangerous in spring when oak wilt transmission is at its peak.
Noticing lots of messy leaves and twigs under your trees? Squirrels could be damaging your trees. Call us today for a consultation.