And you can especially suspect porcupine if there are … Gray squirrels are reported to strip bark on a wide range of deciduous trees. Mystery: why do fox squirrels strip bark and kill trees in the southwestern Great Plains? Catalpas also produce seeds, further attracting the pests. •Introduced Species [1876 from North America] that can now be found living in densities of up to 8 -16 per hectare in broadleaved woodland. Perhaps a more significant form of the behaviour, however, is so-called ring-barking or girdling, where they chew away a narrow ring of bark tissue from a branch. Fox squirrels and eastern gray squirrels can both do some bark-stripping damage to trees, but usually the severe damage is due to the gray squirrels. This seems to be particularly true in urban areas with pin oak trees and I usually see it as I pass by one large pin oak next to Haggin Hall on my way to work. Bark stripping is a problem in woodland where the squirrel numbers are greater than 5 squirrels per hectare. They strip bark off certain trees to get to the tender cambium layer, which they eat. Although not thought of as a regular part of a squirrel’s diet, the gnawing and stripping of bark from trees can be locally common in winter months. The culprits here are flying squirrels. 2. Horizontal branches seem to be the preferred angle of squirrels, and they will strip trunks, too. Little is written on the subject. When bark is removed from trees, the cambium layer with sugars and nutrients is … 7, 8), or by loosely wrapping vulnerable areas with 1 … Gnawing to cope with pain. Many growers have recently called about the bark being stripped from their trees. Tree squirrels strip the bark off redwood, red cedar, and certain other trees to line their nests. Thin barked species such as sycamore, beech, oak, sweet chestnut, pine, larch and Norway spruce are most at risk with trees aged between 10 and 40 years being most vulnerable. A: According to university and wildlife sources, it's not clearly known why squirrels strip bark from trees, but some believe they might be gnawing for minerals. A: According to university and wildlife sources, it's not clearly known why squirrels strip bark from trees, but some believe they might be gnawing for minerals. Porcupines also gnaw tree bark, but the teeth marks are larger, and squirrels often leave a pile of bark below the tree, while porcupines consume most of it. The risk of damage may be greatest where there are vulnerable trees next to mature woodland that produces a good seed crop, which in turn supports a high density of squirrels. "Perhaps the plant is under stress and the squirrels are after a fungus that grows under the bark. ); however, I posted a BYGL Alert last spring of damage to dawn redwoods ( Metasequoia glyptostroboides ) with the bark on the main stem stripped in patches. Why control Grey Squirrels? Wildlife videographer Mike Blair explores the phenomenon. They will peel the bark off of a dying tree." The good news is squirrels generally do not eat enough bark to kill a tree. A: According to university and wildlife sources, it's not clearly known why squirrels strip bark from trees, but some believe they might be gnawing for minerals. Examples. They usually chew on trees that have thin bark because it is easier to chew than thicker bark. Because squirrels do not usually girdle the trunk of the tree, they generally do not cause enough damage to kill a tree. 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