When Little Critters Go Hungry: Trees, Rodents and Tree Damage

They are stout, sneaky and have that deceptively innocent look which makes them appear seemingly harmless. But when they go hungry, they go wild, causing damage to everything that comes in their way—including trees.

It may come as a surprise to many, but rodents are one of the leading causes of tree damage. Not only can they damage plantings, saplings and shrubs, but also fully-grown extensions. And they don’t just cause damage on the surface, but sometimes deep down as well—as deep to the point where trees may die.

And it’s not just any particular rodent guilty of the crime; they all are the perpetrators, they all are the guilty ones…


These short-tailed meadow mice, also referred to as orchard mice, are commonly associated with subsurface damage of trees. They chew and peel bark from tree trunks and nibble on roots, and are often found feasting during the white months of the year.


Mice generally feed on shrubs and saplings, however, they’re not shy to bite the big ones either. And when they do, tree areas closer to the soil line are often their preferred targets. Damages caused by mice subsequently result in slow decline of trees, followed by an eventual death.


Rabbits feed on tree areas that are higher than the reach of mice and voles. They’re associated with deep surface damages, nibbling and tearing through the bark of trees and cutting off their vascular flow.

Trees damaged by rabbits are highly vulnerable to parasitic and fungal attacks.


Last but not the least, we’ve the largest of them all – beavers. And naturally, they’ve the biggest of the bites.

Beavers tend to feed on trees for a number of reasons—the most obvious one being for food. The less obvious being, to use the ripped-off tree parts in the construction of dam and lodges.

They’re the architects!

So what can you do to protect your garden trees and plantings from rodents?

There’re multiple strategies that you can apply:

  • You can erect a protection around your trees using a mesh, plastic drainpipe or hardware cloth
  • You can spray your trees with repellants to keep the rodents away
  • You can cut any unnecessary outgrowths that may touch with poles, homes or other trees as these serve as bridge ways for rodents (especially mice)

Protect your trees from the little critters; they can damage them!

About Trees Inc.  Denton

We are a tree service company located in Texas, providing affordable tree removal, tree trimming and stump grinding services. All jobs we take responsibility of, are performed with unwavering commitment to quality and unparalleled customer service. To schedule an appointment call 940 230 2782, fill out this form.

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