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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Evergreen Trees and Shrubs > Pine > Bark chewed or removed

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Pine > Trunk/Branches > Bark chewed or removed

1 of 4
  • Deer 1
  • Deer 2
  • Deer 3

Deer feeding/antler rubbing

  • Long lines of shredded or peeled off bark along main trunk up to 3 feet off the ground from antler rubbing; wood may appear shiny or "polished"
  • Needles and small branches (
  • Feeding occurs from the ground up to 6 feet or slightly higher; ragged edges, same as above; if the bark is removed by a deer there will be no teeth marks
  • More information on Problems with deer
2 of 4
  • Rabbit feeding 1
  • Rabbit feeding 2
  • Rabbit feeding 3

Rabbit feeding

  • Bark from young trees only is completely removed from the main trunk
  • Regular scraping the size of a spoon tip can be seen in the wood
  • Damage can occur from ground level to several feet up the trunk depending on the depth of winter snow
  • Small twigs are cleanly cut off with a sharp edge, at a 45 degree angle
  • Majority of bark feeding occurs in winter and early spring
  • Rabbit droppings (small, round pellets) are often found near the damaged shrubs
  • More information on protecting trees and shrubs from animals
3 of 4
  • Vole feeding 1
  • Vole feeding 2
  • Vole feeding 3

Vole feeding

  • On young trees, bark is completely removed from the main trunk in irregular patches
  • Scraping the size of fork tines can be seen in exposed wood
  • Damage occurs during winter from the ground level up to winter snow depth
  • Trees and shrubs appear to "die suddenly" during the growing season, especially if they experience any drought stress
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  • Porcupine damage 1
  • Porcupine damage 2
  • Porcupine damage 3

Porcupine damage
Erethizon dorsatum

  • Bark chewed or removed on trunk and branches at any level
  • Higher branches snipped off with clean, smooth, slanted cut
  • Snipped-off twigs on ground
  • More common in winter and on young trees with thinner bark
  • More information on Porcupine damage

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