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in Problem solving
my rabbits have gotten into the area where I keep an apple and a pear tree - they are very young saplings at the minute but the bunnies have stripped the top layer off. It is all fresh and vulnerable looking - is there anything I can heal and wrap it with?
I really want to save and help them...
I have had the same problem a couple of years ago when it was very cold with snaow on the ground I bought some capilliary matting that is used to sit oots on I coated the outside with ordinary engine grease which you can buy in a tin I then wrapped the matting around the bare area taking it a few inches above the bare area and just below ground level with the graease face outside. I secured it by wrapping thin nylon rope around the trees at about 100mm intervals
I then gave the matting a good soaking from above I did not put grease on the top or bottm edges of the matting The idea is to repalce the cappilliary action of the bark and stop the outer layer of the wood drying out Rain water running down the tree seems to keep the matting moist and the grease prevenst it losing moisture through evaporation
It has worked because the tree had teh same ammount of fruit hat year and in subsequent years
On the other hand I ma have just been lucky!
Many choices for protecting trees. Some more unsightly than others. A couple of turns of chicken wire are reasonably unbtrusive or, in my case, plastic trellis curled around the first couple of feet of trunk. A few years ago two young pear trees I planted were nearly killed by rabbits almost ring barking them. They really love young apple/pear bark but strangely left my plum trees alone. I don't have deer issues but they are worse, I understand.
Or you can use commercial tree protectors, plastic tubes that you wrap around the base of the tree. Whatever you do, as long as the tree hasn't been ring-barked it'll survive.
I have used the white plastic protectors for quite young trees but find that you need to keep an eye on it over the months and early years. They will mark the tree as it grows. Also fast growers often resent the slight constriction around the base of the trunk and throw out roots outside of the protector. Soon the protector is enveloped by the growing trunk and impossible to remove... which can't be good for its future development. I'm really talking about when you want to plant a patch of woodland or orchard but the need for monitoring is common sense.