Everyone who has fruit and vegetable crops is concerned that they succeed, that they are not affected by some disease or destroyed by some wild animal. When we talk specifically about apple trees, in most cases the biggest threat to them is rodents, especially rabbits.
Rabbits are a threat to apple trees
The rabbit eats different plants all year round, both wild and cultivated. In some places, it damages vegetables, butterflies and field crops, but the damage is by far the greatest during the snowy winter, when it enters fruit tree plantations. Not all fruit trees are equally threatened, but young apple trees are particularly targeted because of their sweet bark. The biggest damage is caused especially by the ajdared variety, which should be taken care of by households that grow this particular variety and protect the trees from these rodents. It is already active during autumn, after the leaves have fallen, and trees are especially vulnerable during winter.
It feeds on the bark and rings the skeletal branches or trunk, so the entire ringed part is safely dried. It rings even 10-year-old apple trees, and can ring dozens of young trees in just one night. In addition to the fact that the trees fail and have to be replanted, you have to wait again for a whole period until they start bearing fruit. Cumulative damage to a single tree can be enormous. In addition to rabbits, other rodents, especially mice and field voles, are a big threat to the apple tree.
How to protect trees from rabbits and other rodents?
Protection of apple trees from rabbits and other rodents can be preventive, mechanical, biological or chemical. Before specifying other protection measures, the apple orchard should be visited regularly in order to establish and monitor the activity of rodents in it – whether there are newly formed holes, the presence of excrement, damage to the trees, and the like.
One of the effective ways to protect the trees is to fence the apple orchard, so that the fence is at least 30 cm deep, so that rodents have no room to pass. Also, each tree can be wrapped in materials such as corn husks, straw, mesh or paper.
Another method that has proven to be effective in the fight against rabbit attacks on apple trees is regular whitewashing of trees. This will repel rabbits as the bark becomes bitter from the lime. In addition to lime, you can coat the mesh with other coatings whose smell will deter rabbits from gnawing the bark, such as rancid lard or sheep tallow.
Source: Agromedia by www.agromedia.rs.
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