We have a lovely dogwood tree in our yard that has survived a lot over the...

Asked July 1, 2014, 8:28 AM EDT

We have a lovely dogwood tree in our yard that has survived a lot over the years. In the past I have noticed places along the branches where small areas of bark have been chewed off or otherwise removed by something. Until now, it has been minimal damage that the tree has been able to recover from. Now we have one branch that has a lot of bark removed and I'm worried that the branch will die as a result of this insult. Could squirrels be doing this? I have suspected them in previous incidents, but have no particular proof. If it is squirrels -- or isn't -- how can I stop this activity before the tree is permanently damaged. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

The bark in the photo looks like an old wound with some teeth marks. It may be squirrel damage. All you can do is prune any dead wood on the tree. It is difficult to prevent squirrel damage, if there are a lot of mature trees in the neighborhood and the squirrels can move from tree to tree. There are no easy answers.
If you feed the birds, squirrels can be attracted to the seed. You may want to stop feeding the birds for a while.
mh