I have a non-producing crab apple. Something is chewing the bottom foot of...

Asked September 1, 2013, 2:02 PM EDT

I have a non-producing crab apple. Something is chewing the bottom foot of the bark. It looks very serious and I'm afraid I'll lose ir over the winter. I just wrapped it hoping that will keep the varmints away. Could it be rabbits? Suggestions? Thanks! I can unwrap it if you want me to send a picture.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

I'm sorry to read of damage done to the bark of your crabapple tree. The trunks of all apple trees seem to be a favorite food for many critters including rabbits. If the chewing is totally around the trunk of the tree, your crabapple tree will not survive for long. Water and nutrients will have no way to move up to the top of the tree. Wrapping the trunk for winter is helpful or by placing a plastic trunk guard around it. In winter we never know how deep the snow will be and it also helps to put a hardware cloth cage around the base to protect it from rabbits and voles. Read the section on "Tree Guards" in the following link:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1157.html