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interests / rec.gardens / Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

SubjectAuthor
* Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
+* Re: Bark damage on lemon treeLeon Fisk
|+* Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
||`- Re: Bark damage on lemon treeLeon Fisk
|`- Re: Bark damage on lemon treeJanet
`* Re: Bark damage on lemon treeDavid E. Ross
 +* Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
 |`* Re: Bark damage on lemon treesongbird
 | `* Re: Bark damage on lemon treeBob F
 |  `* Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
 |   `* Re: Bark damage on lemon treeLeon Fisk
 |    `* Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
 |     +- Re: Bark damage on lemon treeLeon Fisk
 |     `* Re: Bark damage on lemon treesongbird
 |      `* Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
 |       `* Re: Bark damage on lemon treeLeon Fisk
 |        `* Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
 |         `* Re: Bark damage on lemon treeLeon Fisk
 |          `- Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
 `* Re: Bark damage on lemon treeDavid E. Ross
  `* Re: Bark damage on lemon tree<bp
   +- Re: Bark damage on lemon treeLeon Fisk
   `- Re: Bark damage on lemon treecshenk

1
Bark damage on lemon tree

<utcpl2$10ic7$1@dont-email.me>

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From:
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2024 19:39:15 -0000 (UTC)
Organization: A noiseless patient Spider
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Summary: Something's eating just the bark on a lemon tree
Keywords: rats squirrels lemon bark damage
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 by: - Tue, 19 Mar 2024 19:39 UTC

Significant amount of bark have been stripped from a mature lemon
tree, apparently in the last several hours. Both squirrels and rats
are abundant in the area, but in sixteen years I've never seen the
lemon tree damaged at all. I've observed squirrels feeding on mulberry
buds each spring, but they quit once the trees leaf out and haven't
done serious damage.

The lemon tree is a different story; large areas of bark are gone, maybe
20% of the main stem surface area. Trunk seems to be left alone, foliage
hasn't been touched. One major limb is entirely debarked, all seemingly
overnight.

I'm suspecting squirrels primarily, but roof rats are present also.
Are there any other likely suspects, and any potential control measures?
The tree is in a small back yard surrounded by larger trees, the house
and fences. Denying jump access will be very difficult.

If anybody's got ideas please share them.

Thanks for reading,

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: lfis...@gmail.invalid (Leon Fisk)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2024 16:03:41 -0400
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 by: Leon Fisk - Tue, 19 Mar 2024 20:03 UTC

On Tue, 19 Mar 2024 19:39:15 -0000 (UTC)
<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

>Significant amount of bark have been stripped from a mature lemon
>tree, apparently in the last several hours. Both squirrels and rats
>are abundant in the area, but in sixteen years I've never seen the
>lemon tree damaged at all. I've observed squirrels feeding on mulberry
>buds each spring, but they quit once the trees leaf out and haven't
>done serious damage.
>
>The lemon tree is a different story; large areas of bark are gone, maybe
>20% of the main stem surface area. Trunk seems to be left alone, foliage
>hasn't been touched. One major limb is entirely debarked, all seemingly
>overnight.
>
>I'm suspecting squirrels primarily, but roof rats are present also.
>Are there any other likely suspects, and any potential control measures?
>The tree is in a small back yard surrounded by larger trees, the house
>and fences. Denying jump access will be very difficult.
>
>If anybody's got ideas please share them.
>
>Thanks for reading,
>
>bob prohaska
>
>

Gray squirrels are known for this but mainly in the UK. Do you have any
Porcupines around? See:

https://www.google.com/search?q=porcupine+bark+damage

--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: nob...@nowhere.invalid (David E. Ross)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2024 14:18:29 -0700
Organization: I am @ David at rossde dot com.
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 by: David E. Ross - Tue, 19 Mar 2024 21:18 UTC

On 3/19/2024 12:39 PM, bp@www.zefox.net wrote:
> Significant amount of bark have been stripped from a mature lemon
> tree, apparently in the last several hours. Both squirrels and rats
> are abundant in the area, but in sixteen years I've never seen the
> lemon tree damaged at all. I've observed squirrels feeding on mulberry
> buds each spring, but they quit once the trees leaf out and haven't
> done serious damage.
>
> The lemon tree is a different story; large areas of bark are gone, maybe
> 20% of the main stem surface area. Trunk seems to be left alone, foliage
> hasn't been touched. One major limb is entirely debarked, all seemingly
> overnight.
>
> I'm suspecting squirrels primarily, but roof rats are present also.
> Are there any other likely suspects, and any potential control measures?
> The tree is in a small back yard surrounded by larger trees, the house
> and fences. Denying jump access will be very difficult.
>
> If anybody's got ideas please share them.
>
> Thanks for reading,
>
> bob prohaska
>
>

Is it possible that the sun was shining on the affected limbs? Citrus
bark is very sensitive to sunburn. Commercial orchards often paint the
trunks and large limbs with whitewash. I merely prune my dwarf citrus
in a way that the foliage shades the branches.

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
<http://www.rossde.com/garden/climate.html>
Gardening diary at <http://www.rossde.com/garden/diary>

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From:
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Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 01:11:45 -0000 (UTC)
Organization: A noiseless patient Spider
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 by: - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 01:11 UTC

Leon Fisk <lfiskgr@gmail.invalid> wrote:
> On Tue, 19 Mar 2024 19:39:15 -0000 (UTC)
> <bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:
>
>>
>>I'm suspecting squirrels primarily, but roof rats are present also.
>>Are there any other likely suspects, and any potential control measures?
>>The tree is in a small back yard surrounded by larger trees, the house
>>and fences. Denying jump access will be very difficult.
>
> Gray squirrels are known for this but mainly in the UK. Do you have any
> Porcupines around? See:
>
> https://www.google.com/search?q=porcupine+bark+damage
>
Well, I was hoping for out of the box ideas, and you scored big 8-)
The images of damage shown in the photos don't match the damage I
see very well (photos show short, circumferential chewing, mine
is along the branch and only partway around), but that might be
a matter of chance and tree shape.

No idea if there are porcupines in the southern Sacramento Valley.
It looks like they're found in the Sierras to the east, so it isn't
absurd to think they might be here, especially if an interested
human brought one in as a prickly pet. Folks plant cactus here 8-)

I'll try to find out if porcupines have been seen; I think it's
very unlikely but they'd do well if introduced.

Thanks for writing!

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 01:23:12 -0000 (UTC)
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 by: - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 01:23 UTC

David E. Ross <nobody@nowhere.invalid> wrote:
>
> Is it possible that the sun was shining on the affected limbs? Citrus
> bark is very sensitive to sunburn. Commercial orchards often paint the
> trunks and large limbs with whitewash. I merely prune my dwarf citrus
> in a way that the foliage shades the branches.

Sun damage seems implausible to happen overnight, or a few nights. There
are also lots of chips on the ground. This is rather certainly mechanical
damage, much of it on the underside of the branches.

There have been episodes of squirrels vigorously chewing inedible objects,
(plastic recycling bins) perhaps as a territory marking behavior. Why one
might start now is obscure, but I'm no squirrel psychologist.

For the moment I've put out a WCS tube trap, mostly for lack of a better
idea. It's baited with walnut kernel, which works for rats. Never tried
for squirrels before. I don't really want to kill the critter, whatever
it might be, but the tree won't survive much more damage at the present
rate.

Thanks for writing,

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: songb...@anthive.com (songbird)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 00:31:47 -0400
Organization: the little wild kingdom
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 by: songbird - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 04:31 UTC

<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:
....
> For the moment I've put out a WCS tube trap, mostly for lack of a better
> idea. It's baited with walnut kernel, which works for rats. Never tried
> for squirrels before. I don't really want to kill the critter, whatever
> it might be, but the tree won't survive much more damage at the present
> rate.

rat traps baited with peanut butter and a bit of apricot
stuck on the trip pan (be sure to secure it well because
you want them to have to work to get it and that will set
off the trap). an additional approach is to make sure
there is enough peanut butter under the trip pan to
encourage them to go for it and set off the trap.

as much as i hate harming any creature at times i've had
to trap chipmunks and mice and these sorts of things can
really make a difference in how effective the traps can
be.

i really hate using poisons.

good luck, i hope you figure out what kind of creature
you're up against. that always helps. :) if anything
you might be able to distract them by feeding them things
they like a lot more than lemon tree bark.

songbird

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: bobnos...@gmail.com (Bob F)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2024 21:50:19 -0700
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 by: Bob F - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 04:50 UTC

On 3/19/2024 9:31 PM, songbird wrote:
> <bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:
> ...
>> For the moment I've put out a WCS tube trap, mostly for lack of a better
>> idea. It's baited with walnut kernel, which works for rats. Never tried
>> for squirrels before. I don't really want to kill the critter, whatever
>> it might be, but the tree won't survive much more damage at the present
>> rate.
>
> rat traps baited with peanut butter and a bit of apricot
> stuck on the trip pan (be sure to secure it well because
> you want them to have to work to get it and that will set
> off the trap). an additional approach is to make sure
> there is enough peanut butter under the trip pan to
> encourage them to go for it and set off the trap.
>
> as much as i hate harming any creature at times i've had
> to trap chipmunks and mice and these sorts of things can
> really make a difference in how effective the traps can
> be.
>
> i really hate using poisons.
>
> good luck, i hope you figure out what kind of creature
> you're up against. that always helps. :) if anything
> you might be able to distract them by feeding them things
> they like a lot more than lemon tree bark.

I had a rat problem once. They would quickly steel the bait. I separated
the 2 layers of a couple squares of TP, and covered the trap with 1
layer of TP, and attached the bait to the trigger arm over the TP. That
fooled them and got them.

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: lfis...@gmail.invalid (Leon Fisk)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 09:55:03 -0400
Organization: A noiseless patient Spider
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 by: Leon Fisk - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 13:55 UTC

On Wed, 20 Mar 2024 01:11:45 -0000 (UTC)
<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

<snip>
>I'll try to find out if porcupines have been seen; I think it's
>very unlikely but they'd do well if introduced.

Around my area the number one culprit would be the Cottontail Rabbit.
Especially when and where there is snow cover. I didn't mention it
earlier because I felt it was too obvious and didn't know if you had
them about. If you were in an area that got hit with all the recent snow
and have rabbits... that's your likely culprit. Especially if the snow
depth would have enabled them to reach the damaged area.

Quite often you can make out the teeth marks in gnawings. I put a
recent picture here of some smaller branches that show Eastern
Cottontail work:

https://postimg.cc/gallery/217Prpr

Close examination of the work can give more clues by noting the
width of the teeth marks. Those are apple tree branches, which
they seem to like okay. Nom-nom...

--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: nob...@home.com (Janet)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 15:13:35 -0000
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 by: Janet - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 15:13 UTC

>
> On Tue, 19 Mar 2024 19:39:15 -0000 (UTC)
> <bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:
>
> >Significant amount of bark have been stripped from a mature lemon
> >tree, apparently in the last several hours. Both squirrels and rats
> >are abundant in the area, but in sixteen years I've never seen the
> >lemon tree damaged at all. I've observed squirrels feeding on mulberry
> >buds each spring, but they quit once the trees leaf out and haven't
> >done serious damage.
> >
> >The lemon tree is a different story; large areas of bark are gone, maybe
> >20% of the main stem surface area. Trunk seems to be left alone, foliage
> >hasn't been touched. One major limb is entirely debarked, all seemingly
> >overnight.

Deer rubbing, common in spring, done to help them shed
last year's antlers.

Janet UK

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 17:14:18 -0000 (UTC)
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 by: - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 17:14 UTC

I should have mentioned a few details.

The damage starts about four feet from the ground and and goes up to maybe
eight feet or a little more. Last I checked rabbits don't climb trees 8-)

The tree is in a fenced suburban back yard. Deer would be astonishing but
there is one low gate that could be easily jumped. If porcupines are
present at all they're not common in the southern Sacramento Valley.
There aren't obvious tooth marks in the wood; the bark is slipping, so
it peels easily. There are tooth marks in the bark around the edges
of the damaged area. They appear to be small, 3-5 mm wide. There are a
few wider marks, but that might just be how the bark peels. Lots of
chips on the ground, also 3-5 mm wide.

Much of the area damaged is on the lower side of horizontal limbs, it's
more circumferential on vertial limbs. In most cases there is a narrow
strip of surviving bark, but it looks too small for the limbs to survive.

This morning I didn't see obvious new damage. The tree will likely
replace the existing damange. I can save most of the crop by harvesting
and processing it now. It probably won't hold long.

One neighbor showed me a polyethylene recycling bin where a squirrel
had been observed methodically chewing along the exposed edges of the
lid. I tend to think squirrels are the most likely suspects, but they're
active in daytime and I've not seen them in action on the lemon.

Thanks for all the replies!

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: lfis...@gmail.invalid (Leon Fisk)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 14:33:14 -0400
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 by: Leon Fisk - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 18:33 UTC

On Wed, 20 Mar 2024 17:14:18 -0000 (UTC)
<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

<snip>
>If porcupines are
>present at all they're not common in the southern Sacramento Valley.

They're roughly in the area per GBIF sightings:

https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/gallery?taxon_key=6066824&geometry=POLYGON((-122.00359%2038.45378,-121.37917%2038.45378,-121.37917%2039.31235,-122.00359%2039.31235,-122.00359%2038.45378))

Thanks for the detailed description. Big help in making guesses...

Did some quick searching on Western Grey Squirrels. They're in your
area and can strip bark but it's not usual for them. May have something
to do with the crazy weather of late, I'm sure the animals aren't
dealing with it the best either...

--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 19:40:25 -0000 (UTC)
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 by: - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 19:40 UTC

Leon Fisk <lfiskgr@gmail.invalid> wrote:
> They're roughly in the area per GBIF sightings:
>
> https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/gallery?taxon_key=6066824&geometry=POLYGON((-122.00359%2038.45378,-121.37917%2038.45378,-121.37917%2039.31235,-122.00359%2039.31235,-122.00359%2038.45378))
>

The map's a little peculiar, but if I'm seeing right the photos are from
near Yuba City. I'm west of Sacramento about twenty miles.

> Thanks for the detailed description. Big help in making guesses...
>
Here are some photos of the damage, requested by another correspondent:
http://www.zefox.net/~rprohask/lemon_damage/
> Did some quick searching on Western Grey Squirrels. They're in your

Greys are in undisturbed rural areas, but not in town. Only fox sqirrels,
an introduced species, have been seen in my yard. In a sense that's good:
Greys are rare and protected, fox squirrels are pests and unprotected.

My money is that it's fox squirrels. The question is what, if anything,
can be done. Excluding squirrels is harder than excluding birds. For now
I'm just going to pay more attention and try to learn.

Thanks for replying!

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: lfis...@gmail.invalid (Leon Fisk)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 16:52:28 -0400
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 by: Leon Fisk - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 20:52 UTC

On Wed, 20 Mar 2024 19:40:25 -0000 (UTC)
<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

<snip>
>The map's a little peculiar, but if I'm seeing right the photos are from
>near Yuba City. I'm west of Sacramento about twenty miles.

Yeah, I limited the area guessing where you were located... GBIF can be
fun (for me, anyway) to play with. No use speculating about plants,
fungi, animals... if there are no sightings in your area. Can
quite often find a lot more images to look over while trying to ID
stuff too...

Your pictures made me cringe😬 Never seen anything so bad on a tree
that far up. There are some squirrels that will use bark for their
nest. Like Abert's, but I didn't find any sightings in your area. Was
going to mention putting out a TrailCam too if you have one. If not
they aren't too expensive and kinda fun to see what's around when you
aren't watching.

Suspect a Porcupines bite marks would be a bit wider than a Squirrels.
I didn't find any solid numbers... maybe 8-9 mm for top incisor.

--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: nob...@nowhere.invalid (David E. Ross)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 16:45:50 -0700
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 by: David E. Ross - Wed, 20 Mar 2024 23:45 UTC

On 3/19/2024 2:18 PM, David E. Ross wrote:
> On 3/19/2024 12:39 PM, bp@www.zefox.net wrote:
>> Significant amount of bark have been stripped from a mature lemon
>> tree, apparently in the last several hours. Both squirrels and rats
>> are abundant in the area, but in sixteen years I've never seen the
>> lemon tree damaged at all. I've observed squirrels feeding on mulberry
>> buds each spring, but they quit once the trees leaf out and haven't
>> done serious damage.
>>
>> The lemon tree is a different story; large areas of bark are gone, maybe
>> 20% of the main stem surface area. Trunk seems to be left alone, foliage
>> hasn't been touched. One major limb is entirely debarked, all seemingly
>> overnight.
>>
>> I'm suspecting squirrels primarily, but roof rats are present also.
>> Are there any other likely suspects, and any potential control measures?
>> The tree is in a small back yard surrounded by larger trees, the house
>> and fences. Denying jump access will be very difficult.
>>
>> If anybody's got ideas please share them.
>>
>> Thanks for reading,
>>
>> bob prohaska
>>
>>
>
> Is it possible that the sun was shining on the affected limbs? Citrus
> bark is very sensitive to sunburn. Commercial orchards often paint the
> trunks and large limbs with whitewash. I merely prune my dwarf citrus
> in a way that the foliage shades the branches.
>

From your photos and description, your problem might have multiple causes.

Snails love citrus bark. Several decades ago, snails killed my mother's
;lemon tree by eating the bark complete around the trunk.

I already cited sunburn. If the tree was indeed affected, the bark
might not fall away until there is a wind or rain storm.

Yes, squirrels can cause such damage as shown in your photos. They
nearly kills large white mulberry trees in a public garden near my
house. They prefer eating new shoots instead of bark. It is still
possible, however, that they damaged the bark while eating shoots.

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
<http://www.rossde.com/garden/climate.html>
Gardening diary at <http://www.rossde.com/garden/diary>

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2024 20:14:39 -0400
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 by: songbird - Thu, 21 Mar 2024 00:14 UTC

<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:
> Leon Fisk <lfiskgr@gmail.invalid> wrote:
>> They're roughly in the area per GBIF sightings:
>>
>> https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/gallery?taxon_key=6066824&geometry=POLYGON((-122.00359%2038.45378,-121.37917%2038.45378,-121.37917%2039.31235,-122.00359%2039.31235,-122.00359%2038.45378))
>>
>
> The map's a little peculiar, but if I'm seeing right the photos are from
> near Yuba City. I'm west of Sacramento about twenty miles.
>
>> Thanks for the detailed description. Big help in making guesses...
>>
> Here are some photos of the damage, requested by another correspondent:
> http://www.zefox.net/~rprohask/lemon_damage/

wow, so sorry to see that. there's some age to that
tree, but the creatures really went after the more tender
younger growth when they could easily get at it.

sprinkle some flour around and see if you can get
some prints.

set traps all over the place.

do you have groundhogs around there?


>> Did some quick searching on Western Grey Squirrels. They're in your
>
> Greys are in undisturbed rural areas, but not in town. Only fox sqirrels,
> an introduced species, have been seen in my yard. In a sense that's good:
> Greys are rare and protected, fox squirrels are pests and unprotected.
>
> My money is that it's fox squirrels. The question is what, if anything,
> can be done. Excluding squirrels is harder than excluding birds. For now
> I'm just going to pay more attention and try to learn.
>
> Thanks for replying!
>
> bob prohaska

good luck!

songbird

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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 by: - Sat, 23 Mar 2024 18:38 UTC

songbird <songbird@anthive.com> wrote:
> <bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:
>> Here are some photos of the damage, requested by another correspondent:
>> http://www.zefox.net/~rprohask/lemon_damage/
>
> wow, so sorry to see that. there's some age to that
> tree, but the creatures really went after the more tender
> younger growth when they could easily get at it.
>
> sprinkle some flour around and see if you can get
> some prints.
>

The area under the tree is unprepared, weeds and fallen leaves mostly.
Very hard to get tracks without a snowstorm-like covering.

> set traps all over the place.
>

I tried the WCS tube trap on the ground near the trunk, baited with
a fresh walnet kernel. No takers afer several days. The trap is now
wired to the top of a limb where most of the bark underneath has been
chewed off. Given that the critter is already focused on bark it
seems unlikely it'll pay much attention to bait. It might find the
trap a convenient place to rest. There does seem to be evidence
of a little new damage, so maybe the trap will score.

> do you have groundhogs around there?
>

Not that I know of. Are groundhogs climbers?
>
> good luck!

Thank you!

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: lfis...@gmail.invalid (Leon Fisk)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2024 14:55:19 -0400
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 by: Leon Fisk - Sat, 23 Mar 2024 18:55 UTC

On Sat, 23 Mar 2024 18:38:00 -0000 (UTC)
<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

<snip>
>Not that I know of. Are groundhogs climbers?

They can climb but somehow I don't think they fit what I've seen in
your images...

Here's another possibility you might find of interest, Ground Squirrels:

https://ipm.ucanr.edu/agriculture/citrus/california-ground-squirrels/

--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI

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 by: - Sun, 24 Mar 2024 05:17 UTC

Leon Fisk <lfiskgr@gmail.invalid> wrote:
> Here's another possibility you might find of interest, Ground Squirrels:
>
> https://ipm.ucanr.edu/agriculture/citrus/california-ground-squirrels/
>

The banner photo on that page shows a squirrel with a much more luxurious
tail than is seen on the ground squirrels around here. Apart from color, it
could be mistaken for a tree squirrel.

Ground squirrels aren't seen in town, only fox squirrels. Out of town ground
squirrels are seen along roadsides in agricultural areas, grey squirrels are
seen in riparian areas and in small numbers near orchards.

Thanks for writing,

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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From: lfis...@gmail.invalid (Leon Fisk)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2024 08:21:49 -0400
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 by: Leon Fisk - Sun, 24 Mar 2024 12:21 UTC

On Sun, 24 Mar 2024 05:17:51 -0000 (UTC)
<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

<snip>
>The banner photo on that page shows a squirrel with a much more luxurious
>tail than is seen on the ground squirrels around here. Apart from color, it
>could be mistaken for a tree squirrel.

I took it for a stock photo and not representative to the articles
content. Think somebody made a poor decision in website design here...

--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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 by: - Sun, 24 Mar 2024 17:16 UTC

Leon Fisk <lfiskgr@gmail.invalid> wrote:
>
> I took it for a stock photo and not representative to the articles
> content. Think somebody made a poor decision in website design here...

I'm seeing more and more of that lately, both on websites and in print.....

Meanwhile, the damage seems to have gotten noticeably worse since yesterday.
Still haven't caught a glimpse of the culprit, the trap is unvisited. Makes
me think it's nocturnal. Squirrels very obviously aren't shy.

Thanks for writing,

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2024 02:12:47 -0000 (UTC)
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 by: - Wed, 3 Apr 2024 02:12 UTC

David E. Ross <nobody@nowhere.invalid> wrote:
>
> From your photos and description, your problem might have multiple causes.
>
> Snails love citrus bark. Several decades ago, snails killed my mother's
> ;lemon tree by eating the bark complete around the trunk.
>
> I already cited sunburn. If the tree was indeed affected, the bark
> might not fall away until there is a wind or rain storm.
>
> Yes, squirrels can cause such damage as shown in your photos. They
> nearly kills large white mulberry trees in a public garden near my
> house. They prefer eating new shoots instead of bark. It is still
> possible, however, that they damaged the bark while eating shoots.
>

A nocturnal search with a flashlight revealed the culprit(s): Two small
rats. While sucessfully evading my light they got into a fight with one
another which slowed them down enough for me to follow their movement.

They exited the lemon tree via a branch-to-branch bridge into a nearby
oak. I've since removed that bridge and a few "almost bridges", but still
found one rat the next night. However, that rat didn't make for the exit,
instead it froze in place under my gaze. Apparently I have complicated
rat logistics somewhat. The baited trap in the tree hasn't been visited
yet, I should probably give more thought to the bait.

The bark damage has gotten considerably worse than shown in the photos,
but the tree is still pushing new growth and blooming.

Thanks for writing,

bob prohaska

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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Newsgroups: rec.gardens
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 by: Leon Fisk - Wed, 3 Apr 2024 12:31 UTC

On Wed, 3 Apr 2024 02:12:47 -0000 (UTC)
<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

<snip>
>A nocturnal search with a flashlight revealed the culprit(s): Two small
>rats. While sucessfully evading my light they got into a fight with one
>another which slowed them down enough for me to follow their movement.

Thanks for the followup, info. Rats are smart and learn fast. Can be
difficult to control...

--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI

Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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Subject: Re: Bark damage on lemon tree
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 by: cshenk - Wed, 3 Apr 2024 14:57 UTC

<bp@www.zefox.net> wrote:

> David E. Ross <nobody@nowhere.invalid> wrote:
> >
> > From your photos and description, your problem might have multiple
> > causes.
> >
> > Snails love citrus bark. Several decades ago, snails killed my
> > mother's ;lemon tree by eating the bark complete around the trunk.
> >
> > I already cited sunburn. If the tree was indeed affected, the bark
> > might not fall away until there is a wind or rain storm.
> >
> > Yes, squirrels can cause such damage as shown in your photos. They
> > nearly kills large white mulberry trees in a public garden near my
> > house. They prefer eating new shoots instead of bark. It is still
> > possible, however, that they damaged the bark while eating shoots.
> >
>
> A nocturnal search with a flashlight revealed the culprit(s): Two
> small rats. While sucessfully evading my light they got into a fight
> with one another which slowed them down enough for me to follow their
> movement.
>
> They exited the lemon tree via a branch-to-branch bridge into a nearby
> oak. I've since removed that bridge and a few "almost bridges", but
> still found one rat the next night. However, that rat didn't make for
> the exit, instead it froze in place under my gaze. Apparently I have
> complicated rat logistics somewhat. The baited trap in the tree
> hasn't been visited yet, I should probably give more thought to the
> bait.
>
> The bark damage has gotten considerably worse than shown in the
> photos, but the tree is still pushing new growth and blooming.
>
> Thanks for writing,
>
> bob prohaska

There are several rat deterrents. Shakeaway sells one. make a paste
of it and spread it on the lemon. It smells nasty to them and rats
avoid it. Start plants marigold and Lavendar at the base of
problematic trees. Smells nice, rats hate it. Take containers and
grow spearmint (yard invasive hence containers).

All of this is completely natural so won't harm any animals. It's just
nature's rat repellent. The onlything not organic about it is the
plants may not have the organic label.


interests / rec.gardens / Re: Bark damage on lemon tree

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