Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Many A Weary Nibble"

Here's a strange call.  A homeowner contacted me because her cedar tree was raining down the tips of branches.  A close inspection showed that all of these juniper tips were cut cleanly.  You will see this type of behavior from squirrels, who like to drop the ends of oak branches with acorns, or with wasp galls full of tasty larvae, but these limbs are too small for a squirrel to navigate.  That left mice as a choice.  Voles are a mouse-sized rodent, with a short tail, that are murder on tree plantings in grass.  Voles are always chewing up bedding for their dens, and it appears that a vole, or voles, zeroed in on this tree to provide bedding for the winter.  The homesite is being taken over with young trees so the grasses are disappearing, and it looks to me as though the voles moved to the next best thing for bedding in their cozy little dens.  That's my guess, anyhow.  If you can think of a better explanation for who's been making these tiny cedar cuttings, let us know in comments.

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