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 Too late for plastic guards? 
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:41 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Mid-Coast Maine
Post Too late for plastic guards?
Hi,

I planted about 75 new trees in our home orchard last spring and have been very busy this fall and hadnt gotten to putting plastic guards on them. We recently had a thaw out here (Maine) and most of the snow melted away and was wondering if it would do good now to put the plastic guards on? We have a lot of rodents in the fields and know there is already some damage to the bark on some trees....

Thanks for your help!

-Jeremiah

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"Why not go out on a limb? Thats where the fruit is." -Mark Twain


Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:49 am
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 1:00 pm
Posts: 204
Location: SE Portland
Post Re: Too late for plastic guards?
I hope none of the trees have been girdled yet. Put the guards on as soon as you can. I don't know of any reason not to, and if you already have critters gnawing on the trunks, you need to make sure your babies still have some circulation.


Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:48 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1186
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Too late for plastic guards?
And if you’re up to another method … coat the trunks from the ground to a foot or two above with black roof patch or roofing tar. Sounds like an ecological disaster ~ but it’s worked excellent for me. It appears to keep nearly anything 'small' from chomping into the trunk, has never shown any sign of damage to my trees or trunks, ‘expands’ as the tree grows (which requires another coat if you’re still fearful), and can actually be ‘picked off’ in flakes to discard years down the road. …as long as your rodents aren’t Beavers :wink:

My experience with placing corrugated plastic tubing around fruit tree trunks was dismal… Mice, ants and earwigs will set up house where you can’t see them - and when placing or removing it there’s a serious chance of damaging the bark.

Do keep grass back as far as possible from the trunks, that’s where they hide. And watch for ‘vole holes,’ they’ll do-in the roots without touching the trunk above.

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Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:01 pm
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 1:00 pm
Posts: 204
Location: SE Portland
Post Re: Too late for plastic guards?
...and given the choice, always listen to Viron before you listen to me.

mh


Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:23 pm
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