Older trees with bark eaten by rabbits #851361

Asked September 26, 2023, 11:38 PM EDT

I have a chestnut apple tree, 40+ years old. Last year, after removing the protective plastic covering that has outgrown its size, the rabbits completely girdled the lower trunk, essentially killing the tree. I would not continue advising owners to abandon protecting the bark, when one of us has experienced disastrous results. Not really a question, Ric Roderick

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response


Thanks for sharing your story. That's a painful loss, and a premature one, since chestnut crabapples can be expected to live for 50 or more years.

If you have another tree in your landscape that is potentially attractive to rabbits, you may want to wrap the lower four feet of the trunk in hardware cloth or burlap to prevent rabbit damage this winter.

Ellen Tveit Replied September 27, 2023, 3:16 AM EDT

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