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They al… This is particularly troublesome because porcupines prefer trees with smooth bark—as most decorative trees and shrubs have. If your tree is too far damaged, you will need to consider removing the tree. Porcupines are mammals. If a porcupine den has been located, a trap can be placed very close to the opening and baited with nutritionally dense and salty foods such as cut fruit, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, or nuts. Gloves should be worn when handling the trap to keep human scent to a minimum and to protect your skin when transporting the caught porcupines. We explain specific techniques for protecting trees and property from porcupine damage. Males are larger than females. Carrie Frickman / DJ Case and Associates Fencing trees and gardens is the most effective way to prevent porcupine damage. Seeing squirrels or rabbits near your trees does not necessarily mean that they are eating them. Porcupines prefer the young bark, leaves, and terminal twigs commonly found high up in the crown of a mature tree, but will strip bark anywhere on a treeâs trunk or branches. If you are finding damage on your property, you will need to act. If porcupines are causing problems for your trees, you can protect them by placing a 60 – 75 cm metal band around each tree at a height of about 1 m off the ground. If the damage isn’t severe enough to kill the tree, it will be more susceptible to insects and disease. Please keep in mind, the porcupine, like all wild animals, is part of nature and plays a vital role in our ecosystem. Trees are often thought of as towering giant that are difficult to kill. Trees with thin, smooth bark tend to be preferred, but any tree could potentially be at risk. Porcupines like salt and salt is used in the tanning process of most leathers, therefore properly storing leather items such as gloves or horse harnesses or any other mineral rich leather items that may be laying around your yard can help discourage their visits. Porcupines are not typically aggressive toward humans, but we recommendÂ covering the trap with a thick tarp to avoid being quilled. Grooved tooth marks approximately 5 mm wide are characteristic of porcupine damage. Sometimes they are not noticed until a dog or livestock show up with quills in their nose and on their face. Their favorite food item is corn on the cob. In the winter, they primarily eat evergreen needles and the inner bark of trees, often feeding heavily on a single tree causing damage or death to the tree. Trees with thin, smooth bark tend to be preferred, but any tree could potentially be at risk. On larger trees that may be difficult. Many people consider porcupines to be a nuisance because of the damage they cause to trees and wooden structures. Their tails have the highest density of quills on their bodies and they can quickly flick their tails to lodge quills into the skin of whatever is threatening them. Tree bark damage is not only unsightly, but can be deadly to a tree. Often they will feed at or near dusk and early in the mornings. They are best known for their stout, quill-covered bodies, and their lumbering gait. Porcupines are creatures of habit and will use the same feeding runs night after night. Small trees and shrubs cannot withstand as much damage as larger trees. 1. While porcupines may be a nuisance to homeowners with ornamental or fruit trees, their presence in the forest improves the function and diversity of these ecosystems. Protection of trees through regular fencing, low strung electrical fencing, and trapping are the most efficient methods for reducing damage.Â. “The damage associated with porcupines is generally a result of their habit of gnawing on trees and wood products, [especially] during the winter when woody plants make up the bulk of the porcupine’s diet,” said Griffin Dill, integrated pest management specialist at the University of Maine. Once embedded, the grease-covered barbs on a quill are difficult and painful to remove. Porcupines can cause significant damage to personal and public property by feeding on trees. University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension. Using an electric fence to protect trees … Porcupines have their young from April to May and the juveniles stay with the females for the first summer of their lives. Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management. I'm not familiar with porcupine damage, but all kinds of things will strip bark to get at the bugs inside a tree. Porcupines pose more of a danger to other animals, primarily pets that may not heed porcupine forewarning. Stearns. Stripped bark exposes trees to disease, and those affected often die. This fact sheet describes the basic ecology and behavior of the porcupine and identifies ways to determine if porcupines are damaging trees on your property. They are vegetarians. One way to tell if a porcupine is in the area is to listen. Trees will die if the damage is severe enough. Porcupines: Scourge of the springtime willow tree Through most of the 20th century, the state paid hunters a bounty for each porcupine killed. Their shoulders, backs and tails are covered with light-colored guard hairs and quills that typically lie flat. One product however, Thiram is registered as a repellent for rodents and rabbits, and has incidentally repelledÂ porcupines, as well. Fencing small tree plantings, orchards, and gardens is effective in reducing porcupine … Significant gnawing on a larger tree may be repaired over time. Install 18 to 24 inch high woven wire fencing around gardens, orchards or specific areas of your property that require protection. Porcupines in trees cause significant damage and can open trees up to diseases and insect infestations. ... hi , i have a hungry porcupine that last night chewed off quite a bit of bark off my little leaf linden. porcupines. If this becomes a problem you may want to provide an alternate salt source such as a salt block to keep them from damaging structures. The amount of damage will determine whether or not the tree or shrub can survive. If the branch isn’t completely girdled, it will start to grow callus tissue over damaged areas in an attempt to recover. Like beavers, porcupines prefer to eat the nutritious inner tree bark or phloem. We are not alone with this issue as across the state reports of porcupine damage to trees have increased. They obtain nutrients primarily from: 1) sap flow caused by the damage, 2) the insects found under bark and in hollow trunks they have drilled out impressively symmetrical portals into, and 3) fruits and nuts. Porcupines in Utah will damage fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and some agronomic crops like alfalfa, and grain if they are present. There are products you can apply to damaged trees that seal the outer bark to prevent further damage and infection. They can make a wide range of vocalizations that resemble the sound of a kazoo (listen here: https://youtu.be/m9H3z94ZuJ0). Porcupines expose tree roots, girdle tree trunks, and clip branches off trees with their chewing. We explain specific techniques for protecting trees and property from porcupine damage. In addition to plant material, porcupines crave salt and are attracted to objects that have salty human sweat on them, such as ax handles, boat oars, etc. In addition, porcupines produce significant damage to fruits, vegetables, corn, alfalfa and small grains. While porcupine can damage healthy trees, the biggest source tree damage in Washington State, especially in young trees, comes from black bears. In addition to plant material, porcupines crave salt and are attracted to objects that have salty human sweat on them, such as ax handles, boat oars, etc. Destroy plants and vegetation. ST. If you encounter a porcupine, you should back away slowly and leave it alone. Their habitats extend from alpine forest ecosystems in Alaska to cottonwood stands throughout the West to Mexico, and across the northern U.S. from California to Maine. and may chew on it as well. Porcupines feed on salt and salt residue, and have been known to chew on leather items and even the brake lines of vehicles. 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