Inground Protection for New Apple Tree
I am going to plant several new apple trees in my small orchard. Please let me know how to protect the roots from voles, etc. I was thinking of the inground wire cages but did not know if that would restrict root growth and expansion. Thank you.
Lane County Oregon
I do not know the size of your "orchard", but I think I would more focus on using wooden mouse traps to trap the voles. they are creatures of habit and you can set the traps into their runs and they will not run around the trap. You can bait or not bait, does not make a difference. I know of a 10 acre organic orchard that used these wooden mouse traps to trap out the voles. You may want to attach a small chain and spike in the ground to keep predators or birds from fleeing with the vole and trap.
We used these mouse traps to control the voles all of the time when were running forage research trials at the Central Oregon Ag Research Center. in Madras and Powell Butte.
One could also set up bait stations and use poison bait control them. You have to be very careful if you have dogs and cats around....
Call me if you have more questions.
Area Extension Agronomist
OSU Extension Service
Thank you for the response. I have question regarding the wooden mouse traps - Won't our cats and/or the birds inspect the traps and possibly get harmed. Our couple crows & jays are very curious and like to inspect objects. I had a wooden rat trap set up outside of my chicken house and made it so the cats, etc. couldn't get near it. But a starling was to still able to get beyond the barrier and triggered the trap and was killed. Because of the cats & birds we never use poison bait.
That is a possibility. Perhaps you could cover the traps with something that still allows the voles to run through, but is long enough and short enough to not allow any other bird or animal to get in and se toff the trap?
or You could try a live mouse "Live " trap that captures the voles....