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What animal is gnawing my bark???!!

Posted by mdensford (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 1, 09 at 18:55

The middle of the main trunk (I've limbed it up) about three ft. off the ground is gnawed all the way around about 12" in length. The pattern it left looks like eaten corn on the cob. The pattern has a little space between each gnawed square which is about a 1/2 to 1/3 inch across. All three leatherleaf viburnums were gnawed almost like mama, papa, and baby bear style. The baby bear's viburnum was only gnawed a few inches. No other specimen trees were gnawed and I have a lot of different species. Hope I can get some help!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What animal is gnawing my bark???!!

Not sure where you live, but it sounds like the work of a species of sapsucker.

RE: What animal is gnawing my bark???!!

Squirrels will do that, too.
They will flat strip a viberumum down here in Florida.
They also stripped my cassia,
along with a couple other young ornamental trees..........cheryl

RE: What animal is gnawing my bark???!!

When hungry, rabbits will gnaw the bark of young tender trees. They love fruit trees such as apples.
you reported the gnaw ring was 3 ft above the ground - think snow depth. If it is the work of a rabbit, the gnaw ring will be about 10 inches above the snow crust at the time of the gnaw. One winter, I lost 5 new fruit trees to rabbits. Rabbits prefer the thin bark of young trees to that of a mature trees with thick, dead bark scales. The damage usually occurs after snow has covered the bunny's food sources.

I have experience with red squirrels, too. One harsh winter, red squirrels killed my lilacs. They stripped the bark off the limbs starting on the upper part of the twig and worked downward.

I have never seen gray squirrels eat bark. They will nip the tips off evergreen trees. They like spruce and arbor-vitae.

Porcupines will girdle evergreen trees especially pine.

Beaver can bite deep enouth to eventually fall a tree. They prefer young tender decidious trees for food (up to 6 inch diameter), although they will take pine as well. However, given enough time, they can fall a mature tree. I live in a small town (population 10,000) with big cities nearby. I've been here 33 years without beavers, but 3 years ago, a pair moved into a small creek that drains the town and established a dam and beaver house behind a rental property. I discovered them when I noticed that group of small trees by a drainage ditch had been fallen. Froma distance, I though that vandals had been at work with hatchets, but on closer inspection, I saw it was the work of a beaver and that was confirmed when I discovered the beaver dam and two beaver huts.

This was surprise. We do have beaver in remote areas. It is rare to see them take up housekeeping in an urban setting.

RE: What animal is gnawing my bark???!!

If near water ... I'd say Beaver. If not near water ... I'd say Groundhog or Woodchuck ... depending on what part of the country you are in.

Here is a link that might be useful: OK Wildlife Control, LLC

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