Tricia in Bloomington fears for her newly planted magnolia tree. It looks like a critter has been nibbling at it.
- Deer can create havoc on trees. And don't underestimate the problems caused by ground hogs or squirrels. No matter what is chewing, that can harm a tree—even kill it.
- Check to see if the tree is still alive by scratching it slightly. If what you see inside is green, the plant is still going. If not, then it's done for.
- A young tree could recover from varmint nibbling. Sometimes, the tree will have new bark growth over that wound and be stronger.
- Protect your tree with barriers and guards—chicken wire or wire mesh. Stake wire down to the ground so it stays put.
- Discourage critters with over the counter repellent. You'll have to reapply after precipitation. One gallon of water and two or three ounces of pepper pulp is a good homemade repellent.
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.