Squirrels pealing bark off lilacs

Asked April 26, 2017, 12:20 PM EDT

I have a very old lilac in my backyard that starting this winter and now spring has a group of squirrels that are pulling the bark off it in big sheets. Never seen this before and had thought maybe using it to build nests, but now also finding it just on ground. Any idea what is going on here, will it kill my lilac and how do I stop them?

Ramsey County Minnesota bark damage horticulture lilacs

1 Response

I would guess they are pulling the bark off big, old stems. The bark on the young stems would be too hard for them to remove. You state this is an old lilac shrub. It probably has several of these old stems. Your shrub will bloom more and be more attractive if you remove those right down to the ground. This will encourage new stems to grow and they bloom better. If you wish you could wait until after the lilac blooms and then remove those stems and open it up some in general. Your shrub will appreciate it.