Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How to Repair Fruit Trees with Rodent Damage

...hopefully.  As we were happily off playing in the caves of Kentucky, the fauna back home were having a heyday with all the fresh plantings we left for them.  Dan and the kids got me a small orchard for my birthday/mother's day--10 trees in all.  And it sure didn't take the critters long to find them.  When we got back from vacation, the worst of them looked like this:

I did a little searching online and about the only solution I found was to cover the wounds with tar to prevent further infection and hope for the best.  Here's what you need:

Small amount of tar (like driveway sealer...check the back corners of your basement before you go buying any!)
plastic/latex gloves
old paintbrush
flexible drainage tile
cable ties (zip ties)

Wearing latex gloves, just paint the tar over the wound with the paintbrush to completely cover it. Supposedly as long as there is at least a small amount of bark left going from below the wound to above it, the tree can recover.  I really hope so...I was looking forward to homegrown fruit in a few years!  To prevent further damage, we just cut lengths of flexible drainage tile to cover the lower portion of the tree, cut it lengthwise to slip around the trunk, and secured it with cable ties, like this:

At the other end of the yard...the boys got to spend an hour planting about 20 blue spruce across the front of the property for privacy.  It cut our school day a little short, but quality workin' time with Grandpa is hard to beat!

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