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Trees are essential to the existence of many species for food and shelter or just as a good scratching post. The activities of birds and mammals may therefore result in the damage or destruction of trees.


Sapsucker DamageSapsuckers

Sapsuckers are medium sized woodpeckers that drill rows of tiny holes in the trunks of both deciduous and coniferous trees. They feed on the tree sap that leaks from the holes and on insects attracted to the sap. Sapsuckers prefer to stay on an individual tree and the resulting damage may be extensive. As a result of the frequent wounding the stressed trees are sometimes colonized by insects or diseases that enter these holes. Tree death, though infrequent, sometimes occurs.

Control of nuisance birds in urban environments is not easy. They are best tolerated. To discourage sapsuckers from feeding on a favourite shade tree, wrap hardware cloth or burlap around the area being tapped or smear a sticky repellent material, such as bird tanglefoot, on the bark.


Deer Damage


Moose & Deer 

Moose and deer thrive in the natural areas around Grande Prairie and seem to particularly enjoy feeding on ornamental landscape trees.  They are best managed by not planting trees they enjoy feeding on.

For a list of plants and their susceptibility to damage from feeding deer, click here. (PDF, 44KB)



 Beaver Damage

Beavers and Other Rodents

Beavers can cause extensive damage to a grove of trees in a short time.  Squirrels, mice and rabbits strip bark off branches and may cause girdling and tree death.  The easiest control for small rodents is to maintain a ring of bare earth or mulch around each tree to prevent rodents tunneling to the tree, and to wrap the tree's trunk each fall with fine mesh.  Make sure to remove the mesh each spring to prevent girdling the tree as it grows.

Last updated: 12/10/2014 9:08:55 AM