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Old 03-24-2012, 08:48 PM
WTNUT WTNUT is offline
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Default Apple trees down - 911

Working on apple trees today and noticed I have 2 Lodi and 2
Zestar that are second leaf trees that the field mice seem to have
Chewed the entire base of the tree up. The trees have buds and are leading
out fine but I can't imagine they will make it. What are your thoughts?
I have photos on I - phone, but no computer at the farm to download them to the web site.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:59 PM
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Photobucket has an iphone app, makes getting images from phone to net easy. Make a photobucket account first.

I would imagine if the mice ate all the bark all around the base of the tree, then it will eventually die. It most likely will sucker like mad this summer, but pics and some other opinions are needed as I have not experienced this yet.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTNUT View Post
Working on apple trees today and noticed I have 2 Lodi and 2
Zestar that are second leaf trees that the field mice seem to have
Chewed the entire base of the tree up. The trees have buds and are leading
out fine but I can't imagine they will make it. What are your thoughts?
I have photos on I - phone, but no computer at the farm to download them to the web site.

Sorry to say that if it's girdled all the way down near the roots or below graft union you are done. I had the same issue last year and Alan from Cummins told me it might have leves the first year but that kind of damage would probably be fatal. I lost 16 trees that year and it was painful because many of the trees were going into 3rd leaf and were having great growth and were ready to bear fruit that year. I replanted and this year had no issues with mice or rabbits or voles
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:44 PM
crimson n' camo crimson n' camo is offline
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Do you keep it pretty clean around the trees......as in tall grass and weeds? I think that may help keep down on the mice problem.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:26 AM
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2 things.

1) Window screen (aluminum) around the base, stapled on the edge and folded. The tree pops the staples as it grows and you don't have mice issues.

2) If you are crafty you might try a bridge graft to connect the living portions of the tree below and above the girdle. Nothing to lose.

The tree will probably send up root suckers and you can graft to these so all is not lost.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:45 AM
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sorry wtnut....

I would yank them out and plant some new trees. The window screen will protect from mice, or use Tomcat bait blocks one per tree, in bait stations, put out just before the first snow.

Take the trees you pulled out and saw them off where the mouse chewed them. Plant the roots in your garden and see if they put up a sucker. If its root sucker, graft to it next spring. If its apple sucker, let them go 3 years then cut all but the healthiest one off.


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Last edited by Bnhpr : 03-25-2012 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:12 AM
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Thanks folks for the answers. I have been around enough trees
to know the affect of a girdle either by saw or mice. I was simply in denial
The funeral will be at 2:00 PM today.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:15 AM
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Sorry for your loss WTNUT.

I planted 25 apples yesterday. Every tree got a nice minty fresh piece of 36" aluminum window screen folded and stapled. It is mandatory.

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Old 03-25-2012, 10:15 AM
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save the scion wood for grafting? you could top work the stumps below the girdle, giving that tree a kick with established roots, probalby be as big as it is now in just three years.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaze View Post
save the scion wood for grafting? you could top work the stumps below the girdle, giving that tree a kick with established roots, probalby be as big as it is now in just three years.

Good advice right there^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:58 PM
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save the scion wood for grafting? you could top work the stumps below the girdle, giving that tree a kick with established roots, probalby be as big as it is now in just three years.

There's always a thinker among us. Good job!
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:54 AM
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Another option is to cut it off at the chewed place. Bury the whole thing under a foot or so of nice light topsoil. (Either where it is or in a pot) As the root stock grows up through it, in hopefully a number of places, you can cut off the rooted shoots and make more clonal rootstock for future grafting projects. If your tops die, always look to save and propagate the rootstock. Good hunting. "D"
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:42 AM
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Default Screen question

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Originally Posted by CrazyED View Post
Sorry for your loss WTNUT.

I planted 25 apples yesterday. Every tree got a nice minty fresh piece of 36" aluminum window screen folded and stapled. It is mandatory.


Is it really necessary to use 36 inches. It seems as though 12 inches high would be enough unless you have darn big field mice!
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:44 AM
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Default How do you do this????

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Originally Posted by mikmaze View Post
save the scion wood for grafting? you could top work the stumps below the girdle, giving that tree a kick with established roots, probalby be as big as it is now in just three years.

How do you do this?
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by WTNUT View Post
Is it really necessary to use 36 inches. It seems as though 12 inches high would be enough unless you have darn big field mice!

36 inches of screen is needed because if you only have 12 inches and you get 12 inches of snow and Mr. Cottontail is out for lunch he can girdle your tree just as fast as a mouse.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTNUT View Post
Is it really necessary to use 36 inches. It seems as though 12 inches high would be enough unless you have darn big field mice!
Yes if you have snow depths greater than 12"

For cost of 30"+ screen vs 12" it's not worth it to lose trees to voles, mice, rabbits, etc

It's happened to a lot of members here so don't chance it
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:56 AM
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a couple guys here know a heck of a lot better than me how to do it, and have written guides, top working apple trees is I think one of them. take a look through those threads and adapt what you see in their pics to what you see with your trees. they show branches off the ground being grafted, use your trunk where it looks alive and well below the chewed areas. For the scions, go to the tops of the trees chewed and pick some small branches that look a lot like theirs do, follow their guide and cut them to size and graft them to the viable bases. this is also a good time to clone up a particularly good apple that you have.

read up and I am sure a few of the pros will step in and help as well. :http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthrea...+apple+tre es
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTNUT View Post
Is it really necessary to use 36 inches.

I think I bought a 25' roll of 36" aluminum window screen and it was maybe $20 at a big box store. I then cut it into like 10"-12" pieces with a utility knife, fold in half, staple. As others have said, Snow is the main reason for going to 36".
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapper LM View Post
36 inches of screen is needed because if you only have 12 inches and you get 12 inches of snow and Mr. Cottontail is out for lunch he can girdle your tree just as fast as a mouse.

That is a very valid point!
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