Wire barriers best to stop nibbling rabbits
QUESTION: I have a five-year-old apple tree that’s been damaged by rabbits. They have chewed on the bark almost around the trunk. The damage is located close to where the branches start. They could reach this height because the snow was so high.
Is there any way to save it? ANSWER: The key here is whether there is any bark left circling the trunk. If the rabbits have completely girdled the trunk, there may be no hope.
Even if there is a small piece of bark left connecting the two undamaged parts of the trunk, there is a good chance that the tree will heal itself.
I would put up a wire mesh barrier immediately to prevent any further damage from the rabbits.
There is no need to apply anything to the wound itself. It is best to leave it exposed to the air to heal.
If the trunk has been girdled, there is a procedure called bridge grafting that can be used to try to reconnect the remaining areas of bark on the trunk.
Bridge grafting is a method in which twigs or branches from the upper part of the tree are inserted into the remaining bark on the trunk. The grafts then grow into the bark, rejoining the bark that had been previously chewed away.
There is an excellent description of the procedure with an accompanying photograph on the following website: extension.umn.edu/dis- tribution/horticulture/components/DG0532c. html#bridge.
I have used this procedure myself several times in the past with a success rate of approximately 50 per cent.
Next winter, I would advise erecting a wire barrier again to prevent this type of damage.
You also can use a tree wrap. This is simply a coiled piece of plastic that is wrapped around the tree trunk from the ground up.
I used to wrap my young trees only a few feet up but started wrapping all the way to the branches because I was finding that deeper snow allowed the type of damage you are describing farther up the tree. QUESTION: My indoor banana plant has leaves that are turning brown. How can I remedy this? Also, the bougainvillea plant leaves are turning black at the tips. Can you help? ANSWER: Without seeing the plant, my best guess would be a humidity issue. Lack of humidity can cause both of the problems you described.
Also, a lack of water could be the problem. Both plants like to have moist soil. Don’t allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
Another answer for the banana is if it is the lower leaves that are browning, then it might be part of the natural process that they go through when they lose their lower leaves as they grow newer top ones.
— Canwest News Service
Wire will stop Bugs in his tracks.