Squirrels stripping bark from pine trees

Asked March 12, 2016, 11:30 AM EST

Western Tree Squirrels have been stripping the bark off the branches and trunks of my Scotch Pine trees and my neighbors Jeffery Pine trees. I've never seen this before. Do you know why they are doing this. They have girdled the top quarter of my Scotch Pine.

Washoe County Nevada wildlife damage management trees and shrubs horticulture

1 Response

If you are seeing the squirrel doing this damage then it is to meet a nutritional needs at this time of year when other food sources may be scarce. Squirrel reproduction and their ability to survival will fluctuate with the changing availability food from trees or shrubs and stored seeds and nuts. When other more desirable food is not available squirrels may feed on other sources such as fruits and berries, buds, bark, roots, and the list goes on. If you are not witnessing them doing the damage you may have a porcupine which is a common problem in our area and they will strip branches for insects and girdle trees. In some case metal collars around the trees can help, by preventing the squirrels from climbing the trees.