Below are our 4 easy steps to help protect your nursery stock during the winter months...
1. Chicken Wire
Protect the smorgasbord within your yard against rabbits by fencing vulnerable beds with chicken wire (the fencing should be periodically checked to ensure rabbits have not broken through to feed or have gotten trapped inside).
2. Cylinder Barriers
Individual trees or shrubs may be protected by constructing cylinders around them with hardware cloth or mesh of no more than ¼ inch. To safeguard against burrowing rodents, bend the bottom 6 inches of the mesh outward and delicately bury it 2-3 inches deep (be careful to stay far enough away form the base of your tree to avoid any root injury). To prevent further damage from rabbits, extend the protective mesh 18-24” above anticipated snow line accumulations and secure the outer edges with wire twist ties.
Remove the protective coverings in spring to avoid the possibility of damage as your trees begin to grow. If fencing is too expensive or time consuming, a repellant spray may provide some protection. The most effective repellants contain the fungicide thiram, which can be sprayed or painted on trees or shrubs (reapplication is recommended after heavy rains or snow).
4. Leaf Removal
Raking up leaves and removing any brush piles in late autumn will deter future nesting sites; and mowing your lawn at a lower setting will discourage those pesky rodents from traveling through your yard.
Put your thoughts at ease; put your landscape to bed and may visions of sugarplums and hasenpfeffer dance in your head.