Rabbits etc. girdling trees w/ latex paint

Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by coolbrze0, Dec 30, 2021.

  1. coolbrze0

    coolbrze0 Active Member

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    Location:
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    I started off using 4" black ADS drain pipe around my orchard trees, then went to tree wraps, then to aluminum window screens or wire hardware cloth (1/2" squares) to keep rabbits etc from chewing on my fruit tree trunk bark. I've been painting the trunks w/ white latex paint to help prevent cracking from the warm winter sun on a cold day. Any idea if this latex paint will also help deter bunnies from chewing? I've heard it also helps deter borers where applied and haven't noticed anything yet where I've painted. What do y'all like to use to protect your trunks (if you do anything at all)? I've got around 100 trees & maintenance takes time...
     
  2. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of people mixing hot pepper in the white paint to stop rodents from gnawing, but I've never tried it. I will stick with the window screen for that.

    I have used white latex paint before to prevent sunscald, but it is a pain to do, and I don't like the looks of it. I have several trees with no protection from sunscald. So far, I've had it to happen to only one tree, and that tree had such severe damage that it eventually broke off at the point of damage. Open the following links to see everything:

    3 years later after saving a sunscaled apple tree | Deer Hunter Forum
    Case Study of Severe Sunscald on a Liberty Apple Tree | Deer Hunter Forum

    On the last 15 fruit trees that I set, I am trying something new to protect from sunscald. I'm setting up a sheet of thin metal (flashing that is cut from a roll) on the southwest side inside the cage and attaching it to the cage with Gorilla Tape. This is shading roughly the lower 18 inches or so of the trunk from the sun. I suppose that sunscald could happen higher on the tree, but I don't think that is very common. Time will tell if my metal shading works well. Actually, anything that shades the lower part of the trunk from the Southwest winter sun should work just fine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  3. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    The latex paint will probably only help with sun scald,I just take some screen and a regular desk stapler to make a tube out of the screen.Do not staple to tree just attach edges of screen
     
  4. TreeFan

    TreeFan Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
    5
    Hot Pepper - I have used hot pepper in various ways.
    For tree trunk protection, i simmered vegetable oil with hot peppers - this would be similar to the red flakes used for pizza.. then "painted" it on tree wrap and let it "dry" before wrapping the tree. Worked well. Protecting against mice/moles from ringing the trees. The mice/mole population in my area varies based on the tree mast production and I have not had a measurable mast production in my area in about 6 years, so, I have not done it in awhile, as the mice/mole population is low now.
    For root protection and generally to keep rodents away from small and seedling trees. I sprinkle flakes around the base of the tree. Generally in the fall, and in spring as well where nuts are still attached to seedlings. This does help to protect moles from the roots and mice from the trunks. I use this all the time for potted tree seedlings to help protect against squirrels digging them up.
    Rodents definitely do not like the heat from hot pepper.
    I also sprinkle milogranite around trees, but it only lasts 2 weeks or so and you have to do it again.
    Correction.. being 66 it is easy to confuse voles with moles and yes, I was protecting against voles.. Sincerely - club 66 hehe..
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
    Travis Aasen likes this.
  5. coolbrze0

    coolbrze0 Active Member

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    Forgot about the hot peppers, may have to add that in next Nov. when I paint again. I also use screens but was wondering if there was a better option. Seems like that may be my best bet against rabbits / chewers. Other than bears, my main problem is with voles (not moles - moles are carnivorous & eat bugs, worms, insect but voles which eat the tree roots). After my bare root trees make it past the 1st season, I haven't lost any, but the 1st winter I always lose some. Don't think there's much I can do about voles eating the roots in a 1.5 acre orchard w/ 100 trees though...
     
  6. RGrizzzz

    RGrizzzz Administrator Staff Member

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    Hot pepper or garlic powder. I bought a latex product to keep deer off of my trees and shrubs at home and that's what is in it. Works great, but only in the colder half of the year.
     
  7. Gravel Road

    Gravel Road Well-Known Member

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    Don't know why I didn't think of this. I make a powdered mix of habanero, garden salsa, and jalapeno that is used wherever I don't want critters. Works great, and have never had a packrat problem in ground blinds since sprinkling the powder around. We call it "death dust" :eek:
     
  8. coolbrze0

    coolbrze0 Active Member

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    Great ideas fellas, thanks! With a dwindling amount of time & a growing number of trees each year, I'm always looking for more efficient ways to deter pests/problems!
     
  9. coolbrze0

    coolbrze0 Active Member

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    I took a walk around the orchard last week & had very minimal chewing on my new fruit trees this year. I only saw 2 gnaw marks on 1 tree, that was it. The straight latex paint definitely worked, this is the least chewing I've had so far in my orchard. Which says a lot b/c we've had one of the coldest winters in many, many years & had snow on the ground for about a month which never happens...
     
  10. RGrizzzz

    RGrizzzz Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    This was what I've been using at home.
    Deer Free Winter Armor (gardengirlsrepellents.com)
     

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