Author Topic: Root Freeze  (Read 11410 times)

John Romano

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2012, 03:33 PM »
Hi Steve (and all),
I have overwintered my trees in a greenhouse for the past 20+ years.  Nothing about the space has changed.  I've used moth balls over the years also thinking they would work and I assumed they did since I never had anything but some minimal damage....
until this year!
I have had critters (mice?)  totally decimate some of my trident and Japanese maples.  They chew all along the trunk at the bottom and stripped some branches, etc.  
My first reaction was to increase the amount of mothballs in small containers and also scattered in the greenhouse. (Note that mothballs are poisonous to some animals and pets and only use them in an enclosed area).  Well that didn't work.  
Time to go nuclear!
  A few weekends ago I went to my local Agway and they have a 'critter repellant' in both spray and granular form that is organic and non harmful to plants and pets.  I had already tried the granular to little effect so bought the spray and have used it the past few weeks and it seems to be working.  The good thing about this stuff is that it is organic and not harmful to the plants so I can spray it right on the bark of the maples.  So far, so good.  Smells relatively horrible but that is the effect desired!  I"ve been reapplying it when the smell fades away.
Very frustrating when you've been working on a few small trees for a number of years and have to go back to the drawing board.
Why maples? - well if you think about it - they are sweet!  (maple syrup anyone!)
BUT more importantly why the infestation after 20+ years??  One of our theories is that we had a very small amount of acorns and other nuts this past fall.  Last year we had billions! and it was said that this is cyclical and last year was a bumper crop.  My theory is that, with the paucity of food sources this year, the critters are looking elsewhere for things to feed on.
Who knows?  This summer though I have to fortify the foundation of this greenhouse also with some fine mesh, cement whatever!  If that doesn't work, I'm hiring that special forces unit that got Osama and freed those journalists in Nigeria!
I'm actually too embarrassed to post a picture of a completely de-nuded trident shohin that I've been working on for 10 years ;-(
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 03:36 PM by John Romano »


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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2012, 05:13 PM »
John, I can only imagine......a horror for sure. I think the mild winter at least as far as snow has also been a factor. Please let us know ow that organic spray works, could be another weapon.


  • Steve Moore
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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 11:08 PM »
John, I can identify, at least to some extent: some beastie -- probably one of those larcenous cutesy striped cousins of the tree rats ("Al-VIN!") -- stripped most of the bark from one of my in-development Japanese maples at some point in late winter. Yes, I was considering chipmunk stew!  >:(  (You can see more of my fulminations on my blog, if you're interested.)

Thanks for info on the repellent. Can you tell us what the active ingredient is?