Vertebrate

Christmas trees can be weakened, killed or tree quality decreased due to feeding from deer, rabbits and voles. Heavy snow cover and hard winters cause damage to be more severe with all of these pests. Deer will eat branches and buds, and bucks will rub the trees in the fall. In areas where they have large deer numbers growers have resorted to installing 8-10 foot tall woven wire deer fencing.

Voles and rabbits feed on the bark of the trunk or on lower branches, weakening trees or in many cases completely girding the tree. Most of the damage occurs during winter months and will increase when you have grass and weed problems. Voles also have been found to chew the plastic piping of trickle irrigation systems causing holes and expense to the grower to find and repair this damage.

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