Squirrels and Oak Tree

Asked September 11, 2018, 7:07 PM EDT

We have an Oak tree in the back yard and this year it has been a constant open eatery for the squirrels. The yard is littered with fallen leaves and branches. Will this actually damage the Oak tree and if so, is there anything to safeguard the tree from these pesky critters?

Outside United States trees and shrubs squirrels squirrel damage oak tree

1 Response

Hello!

Unfortunately squirrels can damage trees. When they chew on the bark of branches or the trunk, they can leave the tree susceptible to insects and disease activity. There is no easy solution to this. Here is some information:

http://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/wildlife-issues/2303-squirrel-damage-trees/

https://extension2.missouri.edu/g9455

Keep the tree as healthy as possible with watering and maintaining healthy roots. A healthy tree will be more resilient to squirrel damage and insects/diseases. Here is information on maintaining healthy roots: http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/02926.pdf

Depending on where you live, will depend on best watering practices. If you live in Colorado, I can send you recommendations for Colorado.

Something else to keep in mind: Many people ask if they should use tree dressing and wraps to prevent decay of the tree where there is damage. This is NOT recommended. Research shows that tree wraps will actually trap moisture or disease pathogens, and will actually damage the tree more. Here is more information: http://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/trees-shrubs-vines/1753-wound-dressings/

Good luck caring for your tree! Let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,

Lisa