How to keep squirrels out of japanese maple tree

How To Stop Squirrels From Eating Maple Tree? — Forest Wildlife

Squirrels are a common sight in many backyards and forests around the country, and they may be snacking on more than just your bird seed. If you’ve been noticing chunks of bark missing or twigs being chewed off your maple tree, squirrels may be to blame. Read on to learn more about how to stop squirrels from eating your maple tree. 

What You'll Learn Today

  • What are Squirrels Eating in My Maple Tree?
  • How Do You Stop Squirrels from Chewing on Trees?
    • 1. Give Them an Alternative
    • 2. Use a Squirrel Repellent
    • 3. Trim Branches Back
  • Do Squirrels Live in Maple Trees?
  • How Do You Protect Trees From Squirrels?
    • 1. Hang Reflective Things in the Tree
    • 2. Wrap the Trunk in Metal Flashing
    • 3. Use Gopher Wire 
    • 4. Relocate the Squirrels 
  • Conclusion

What are Squirrels Eating in My Maple Tree?

Squirrels rarely eat maple tree parts, but they love to “prune back” the new growth. They use both the bark and the small twigs to build their nests.

Squirrels may also use maple twigs and bark as chew toys. Their teeth need constant maintenance to keep them from growing too long, so this means they need to chew on things regularly.

If other food isn’t readily available, squirrels may peel back the outer bark and eat bits of the inner bark. They may also eat the buds, leaves, and samaras (seed pods) depending on how hungry they are.

Japanese maples seem to be the most popular species among the squirrel population. This is one of the smaller varieties of maple and, if too many squirrels invade the tree, it could easily be killed though having too much bark stripped away or too much new growth pruned back.

How Do You Stop Squirrels from Chewing on Trees?

If you’re having trouble with squirrels chewing on your maple trees, don’t despair. There are a few things you can do to discourage the local squirrel population from picking on your maple trees.

1. Give Them an Alternative

According to The Mercury News, it is possible to distract squirrels from your tree by leaving a pile of sticks, twigs, bark, or bedding material for them. Use nuts to attract them to the pile and away from your tree.

Of course, you will have to keep replenishing this pile to keep the squirrels coming back, and some homeowners may be concerned that this practice will actually attract squirrels to your property. Use your best judgment as to whether leaving a “peace offering” for the squirrels will work in your yard.

2. Use a Squirrel Repellent

There are various types of squirrel repellents on the market. Some are chemical sprays or pellets, while others make use of ultrasonic technology to scare the squirrels away.

You may even be able to use cayenne pepper and other spices as a repellent, as shown in the video below. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Recipe for Red Pepper Spray Squirrel Repellent : Bugs & Pests Advice (https://www.

Regardless of the type of repellent you use, make sure you use it according to package directions. Some repellents may need to be reapplied continuously or may need regular maintenance.

3. Trim Branches Back

If you have trees growing near your house, powerlines, or fences, then squirrels may have easy access. Trimming branches away from these structures may make it more difficult for squirrels to get into your tree.

Try and keep branches back at least 4 or 5 feet from any nearby structures. This may be difficult or impossible with some trees, depending on where and how they are growing.

Be careful not to over prune your tree in an effort to keep the squirrels out. Pruning away too much of the tree will cause more permanent damage than most squirrels ever could.

Do Squirrels Live in Maple Trees?

Squirrels will build nests in any tree that they determine is sufficiently safe and offers convenient access to food and water. Considering their affinity for chewing on maple trees, there is a good chance they will choose your maple as their next home.

In general, having a few squirrels around will not pose a threat to your tree. Maple trees are not terribly fragile; as long as the squirrels don’t peel off too much bark or gnaw away too much of the new growth, you should have nothing to worry about.

That said, even a small amount of squirrel damage can affect the appearance of the tree, causing it to have “bald spots” or to sprout new growth in odd places.

So, if you don’t want your tree falling victim to the munching habits of squirrels, your best bet is to try and keep them from targeting your tree in the first place.

But how do you do that?

How Do You Protect Trees From Squirrels?

Squirrels are stubborn, tenacious, and acrobatic. It may prove difficult to keep them out of your maple trees completely, especially since maples tend to be their favorite kind of tree.

That said, if you’re trying to protect your trees from squirrels, there are several things you can do to discourage them from getting into your trees in the first place.

1. Hang Reflective Things in the Tree

Have you ever seen old CDs hanging from a tree? Squirrels and birds alike are repelled by the sudden flashing of any shiny object when it catches the light.

You can use old discs of any kind for this purpose, or you could use other objects such as disposable aluminum baking dishes, sparkly ribbon, small mirrors, or pieces of aluminum foil. The idea is to make sure they’re small enough to blow around in the breeze so that they catch the light and “flash” unexpectedly.

2. Wrap the Trunk in Metal Flashing

Metal flashing is an excellent squirrel deterrent. Not only will it reflect the light at certain times of the day, but it will prevent the squirrel from being able to climb up your tree trunks.

The flashing should be long enough to wrap loosely but securely around the trunk, with room to adjust it as the trunk grows. You’ll want to make sure the top of it is at least 5 feet off the ground.

Wrap the flashing around the trunk, making sure it isn’t so tight that it will suffocate the tree, but is tight enough so that squirrels won’t be able to slip underneath it. Secure the flashing with screws.

3. Use Gopher Wire 

Gopher wire is similar to chicken wire except the spaces between the wire are much smaller. Wrapping your tree in gopher wire won’t completely prevent the squirrels from chewing, but they won’t be able to chew as much and may eventually become discouraged.

Gently wrap the gopher wire around the trunk, branches, and even smaller sticks and twigs. Cover as much of the tree as possible, being careful not to damage any new growth or wrap it too tightly.

4. Relocate the Squirrels 

This may seem like an extreme option, but if you have too many squirrels hanging around your property, you may want to move some of them to a new home.

Bait a live animal trap with nuts and leave it near the tree. Anytime you catch a squirrel or two, take it to a wooded area some distance from your house and release the squirrels.

You may have to catch and release several times depending on how many squirrels you have. It’s best to do this in June and July, after baby squirrels born in the spring have left the nest and before fall babies are born.


Squirrels don’t usually eat maple except during food shortages, but they often chew on twigs and peel off chunks of bark. There are several things you can do to discourage this activity, such as hanging shiny objects from the tree, wrapping metal flashing around the trunk, and using squirrel repellent.

How to stop squirrels from chewing madly on Japanese maple

DEAR JOAN: Help! I’ve got some arch nemeses in the form of several eastern gray squirrels plaguing my yard. I’ve mainly adopted a peaceful coexistence strategy but the critters are really trying my patience.

Recently, the squirrels — seems like the smaller, younger ones — have been climbing onto my Japanese maple and eating the new growth. I don’t want to wind up with a bald tree this season. What can I do?

The maple abuts my backyard fence with my neighbor. The fence has to stay and there’s no pruning the maple sufficiently to prevent them from easily climbing on. All I’ve done so far is remain vigilant and run out into the yard to scare them off when I notice.

David Cheung, Santa Clara

DEAR DAVID: Looks like you’ve got a new hobby — scaring off the squirrels.

It might help — or not — to know the squirrels aren’t maliciously eating your maple. They aren’t actually eating the tree at all, but pruning it. All members of the rodent family have continuously growing teeth, which requires them to gnaw and chew on things in order to keep their teeth from growing out of control.

One of the squirrel’s favorite chew toys is the nice, fresh growth on Japanese maples. For the younger squirrels, it’s perfect in size and firmness. The gnawing isn’t doing lasting damage to the tree, although if to goes unchecked, you could end up with an over sized bonsai.

Here are some tips on how to discourage these ninja pruners.

  • As you are unable to move the fence, try sprinkling a liberal amount of cayenne pepper along the top where the squirrels travel. They do not like the smell or taste of hot peppers, and this could dissuade them from using the fence as a pathway to your tree. If you have other buildings or structures nearby that could serve as launching pads, pepper those, too. The downside is you’ll likely spend a lot of money on the pepper as you’ll need to keep it refreshed. Also, squirrels being squirrels, they’ll probably find other avenues to your tree.
  • To stop them from climbing up the trunk, wrap it in metal flashing, from the ground up to about 4 feet. Secure the flashing close enough to the tree that squirrels can’t slip between it and the trunk and climb up, but not so tight as to girdle the tree. The smoothness of the metal doesn’t give the squirrels a toehold in which to climb.
  • Try hanging sparkly things in the tree — bits of reflective ribbons, old CD-roms, loosely scrunched aluminum foil or even small mirrors. You want something that will move with the breeze, creating sudden unpredictable flashes of light.
  • Surrender the battle, but not the war by giving the squirrels something else to chew on. Create a pile of kindling away from the tree and put out a “Squirrels chew for free” sign on it. Actually, maybe you should put a “No squirrels allowed” sign as this seems to motivate them even more. You might sweeten the pot by sprinkling in a generous handful of shelled nuts. By giving them an alternative to the maple tree, they just might leave it — and you — in peace.
For more pets and animals coverage follow us on Flipboard.

Joan Morris | Features writer/Animal Life columnist

Joan Morris is the pets & wildlife columnist for the Bay Area News Group. She also writes about gardening and is the founder of Our Garden, a demonstration garden in Walnut Creek. Morris started her career in 1978 as a reporter for a small New Mexico newspaper. She has lived in the Bay Area since 1988.

[email protected]

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how gray squirrels in Great Britain displaced their red relatives and began to rob local residents and birds

Gray squirrels were brought to Great Britain at the end of the 19th century from Canada along with imported timber. It took them less than a hundred years not only to breed in the country, but also to seriously push the local squirrels, known for their red color.

It turned out that there are fundamental differences between local and alien squirrels: the European red squirrel is smaller, fluffier and not as aggressive in habits as the North American gray squirrel. At the same time, the population of gray squirrels in the UK now has several million individuals, while the red squirrel population has decreased to only a few tens of thousands (in 2008, only 30,000 red squirrels remained in the country).

The British authorities have been trying to fight gray squirrels for decades. So, only in 2008 in one of the counties in the north of England, 15 thousand North American gray squirrels were shot. They even began to be eaten - in some eateries in the city of Newcastle they were fried in oil, like fish. At the same time, the British government allocated 150 thousand pounds to solve the squirrel issue once and for all with the help of special traps or shooting. However, it didn't help.

According to environmentalists, more than half of the gray aliens are infected with the so-called para-pox virus, which kills red squirrels. Even short-term contact with carriers of the virus becomes fatal for red squirrels - after only two weeks they die. People have an obligation to intervene and apply "control measures," argues environmentalist Lindsey Mackinlay.

“By control measures we mean trapping or shooting. If caught, gray squirrels should be humanely euthanized, McInlay says. “I am well aware that such actions may seem barbaric to many, but we have an obvious problem: we need to save the red squirrels and stop the “offensive” of the gray ones.”

McInlay hopes that the re-population program will be supported by local farmers who will shoot gray squirrels and thus save the red ones.

Nevertheless, the British have not yet been able to get rid of the invaders. Gray squirrels not only thrive, but, according to scientists, steal millions of pounds a year from the inhabitants of England. The fact is that about half of the seeds that local farmers and gardeners feed birds with are actually eaten by gray squirrels. They also attack nests and eat bird eggs. Their crimes were recorded on video cameras, writes the Guardian.

More than 40% of households across the UK feed birds and purchase around 150,000 tonnes of feed per year. Every year the British spend 210 million pounds on this. But new research, based on video footage of more than 33,000 visits to feeders, has shown that gray squirrels, not birds, get most of the food.

To find out, the researchers set up automated video cameras in suburban gardens around the city of Reading. So they discovered that the birds not only do not approach the feeders when the squirrel is operating there, but they are also afraid to take food from there even after it has left. Overall, squirrels were responsible for almost half of the recorded feeder visits. They also eat more than half of the food intended for birds.

Scientists have tried to hide food in special cages. They expected that the squirrels would not be able to reach the food. But first, they did. And secondly, the birds themselves do not want to get into the cage to eat. They probably feel less secure when they are inside a barred feeder.

However, the specialists are not going to give up. To keep squirrels away from the feeders, they suggest putting seeds there that only birds love. In addition, environmentalists intend to test feeders equipped with a spring mechanism. They will slam shut and hide food when a heavy animal climbs onto the feeders.

“Our findings have helped us better understand the significant economic and environmental damage that non-native gray squirrels cause to us,” says Robert Middleditch, spokesperson for the charity Songbird Survival. “The good news is that by solving this problem, we can later be sure that food is getting to our garden birds. It will help us save money [for feed] in the process.”

The representatives of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have become opponents of the shooting of gray squirrels in the UK.

“Killing one species for the sake of another is ethically dubious,” explained society spokesman Rob Atkinson. - Until the 70s of the last century, we could get a license to shoot a red squirrel - then they were considered a pest, as they are now gray. When a person violates the habitat of an animal, brings it to the brink of extinction, and then tries to save it by destroying another, this is unnatural and immoral. In addition, it is unlikely to restore the balance in nature, which means there is no point in doing this.”

how and what to feed / City News / Moscow Website


Winter is a great time for walking in parks. However, the inhabitants of the green zones of the capital have a hard time, because in winter it is not so easy to find food. Therefore, you can combine business with pleasure and bring treats for squirrels or birds to the park. For information on how and what to properly feed park residents, see

Few things compare to walking in the park and feeding birds and squirrels. It brings a lot of pleasant experiences for both children and adults. Eating seeds and other treats by birds and squirrels can be photographed or videotaped. However, it must be understood that not all the foods we eat are suitable for all this small fauna. Treats should correspond as much as possible to the natural diet. The following tips will help you properly feed frisky park animals.

Why it's important to help birds in winter

When nighttime temperatures drop to minus 10 Celsius and below, birds can lose up to 10 percent of their body weight overnight! In order to maintain their body temperature (and they have it about 40 degrees Celsius) and survive, they need food from the very early morning. However, in winter it is not easy to get to it: natural feeding places are under snowdrifts or under an impenetrable ice crust. And this is where we, the people, should come to the rescue.

In cold weather, birds need to eat often because their metabolism is noticeably faster and their heart beats very fast. Food turns into heat very quickly, since the small size of the body does not hold it well.

Especially dangerous for them is frost after rain, when everything is covered with frost. In such a situation, the bird population can drop to zero in just a few days.

Birds are not allowed to eat salted and fried foods

In Moscow, birds can be found near feeders in parks. Ornithologists suggest that 75 percent of their food should be sunflower seeds. They are high in calories and are an important energy source for small birds.

In winter, birds need high-calorie food - unsalted lard and margarine. Unsalted bacon is eagerly pecked by tits and sparrows.

Animal fat should be given neat if it is solid. If it is soft, then it is better to mix it with other food, preparing the so-called bird pie. Such a “pie” should be hung in nets from under vegetables.

Wintering birds can be confidently fed unroasted seeds, unpeeled millet grains, oatmeal, grain waste, pre-prepared rowan berries, bread crumbs, white bread, unsalted lard and unsalted fat.

In addition, birds can be given meat, cones, acorns, nuts, dried rowan and hawthorn, millet, oats and wheat.

What is forbidden for birds

Black bread can cause death. There is a lot of salt in such bread, which is harmful to the kidneys and liver. Often birds leave part of the food in the crop, where the bread quickly swells and ferments - this is very dangerous for birds.

Rye bread is the most dangerous because more yeast is added to it than to wheat bread.

It must also be borne in mind that pigeons and crows do not need winter feeding. They themselves find enough food in garbage dumps and garbage containers. Moreover, it is even desirable to make it difficult for them to access winter feeding grounds.

How to make a feeder

When creating feeders of different designs, it is important to consider the following two rules.

1. The feeder must have a roof, otherwise the feed may be covered with snow or rain, making it unsuitable for the birds.

2. The hole in the feeder must be wide enough for birds to easily enter and leave the feeder.

How to feed squirrels

Park squirrels can often be found in trees near a path or park path.

Learn more