Sunday, September 18, 2011
Meadow vole damage
The above is a picture of some Meadow vole damage in the 2011 planting area. The trees in this area had a manufactured circle of mulch placed around the base of the tree. This helped with preserving soil moisture around the newly planted root balls. However they produce a convenient location for field mice to hide. As the night time temperature goes down they will extend their burrows underground around the tree roots. Once their food runs low they will start eating the roots killing the tree. They like the taste of some trees better than others. The above sugar maple would probably be killed this winter if no action is taken.
I attempted to collapse the burrow entrances by punching down the soil around the roots. I then added soil to bring the soil back up to the original level. There was a tag left on the tree that might have damaged the tree in a few years as it grew. I removed this tag and added a tree protector to keep the meadow voles from girdling the tree at the base of the trunk. Hopefully these steps help the tree to survive the coming winter.