What eats dogwood tree roots?

Asked March 5, 2019, 11:45 AM EST

Something ate the roots off of a two year old dogwood tree. Discovered this last week. Saw a chipmonk once or twice last summer but haven't see it since. What can I do to prevent this in the future if I decide to replant a dogwood?

Charles County Maryland

1 Response

This does not sound like chipmunk activity. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/chipmunks

It does sound like voles.

Voles will gnaw on the base of trees and can completely eat up roots of small trees. Here is our page on voles, which offers management options:http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/voles

Voles love to hide in mulch piled on tree bases and chew on the trees. When mulching trees, be sure to keep the mulch no deeper than 2-3" and several inches away from the trunk. Do not pile rocks or anything else at the base of trees for the same reason.

You can safely replant a dogwood. There is no particular connection between the voles and dogwoods. To have a beautiful dogwood, do be sure to plant a dogwood that is resistant to powdery mildew: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/powdery-mildew-trees-and-shrubs