How to Treat a Tree With Bark Torn Off the Trunk. Pregnant squirrels strip bark more often than other squirrels. Tooth marks will be horizontal. Silver birch tree bark Betula pendula. A few days ago, I noticed about 15 strips of bark like this on the ground underneath a mature maple tree. Gnawing to cope with pain. Field mice (including voles and deer mice) tend to strip bark during the harsh winter. Removal of even a vertical strip of bark less than one-fourth the circumference of the tree will harm the tree, but not kill the tree. From Birds of North America online site: "Nest . Squirrels don’t actually eat the bark; they strip away the top layer to get to the sweet, phloem tissue underneath. Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, Dave Pehling. Read on for solutions for dealing with each type of animal. If that’s the case, you can still apply these preventative measures in the future. 8560 SE 172nd Ave Posted on January 29th, 2016 in | Comments Off on What is stripping the bark off my tree branches? This bark stripping occurs between late April and the end of July. Sometimes black bears will also "scratch" at trees to leave their marks. Construction Both sexes build nest; no information on relative share of each sex. Try to bury about six inches of it to prevent underground access. A small fence or cylinders will work to protect your trees from rabbits as well. If you take this step, be sure to bury the cylinders three inches below ground level so that the voles can’t burrow underneath them. The Marbled Gecko finds food and shelter under bark. Though there are many animals that strip bark off trees, there are solutions and steps you can take to keep your trees’ bark intact. ). Cut sections of bark and underlying wood (scions) in the winter with a utility knife from young branches on the same tree about 3/8 inch in diameter and the height of the bark damage's measurement plus 5 inches. Trees can survive some bark removed from the tree but if damage is too severe it can kill the tree. Strip bark off trees, especially sycamore, maples, ash and beech; Gnawing on plastic, such as hosepipes, plant labels and plastic netting; Control. Bears usually forage on the lower trunk of trees, girdling the bottom 1 to 1.5 meters. Young twigs and branches are preferred because they have a higher proportion of inner to outer bark and lower concentrations of anti-digestion compounds such as lignin and phenols. 2 days ago that tree was completely normal and full of bark, and yesterday the bark had been scraped off of half the tree down to the light wood on the inside. The lower 6' of the tree (its main trunk and bottom of its large branches) is largely untouched; the squirrels have stripped off almost everything above that point, virtually to the tips of the branches. Since beavers are not skilled climbers, erecting a small fence around your trees should do the trick. Bears use their claws to strip bark from a tree, then feed on the sapwood (newly formed outer wood) by scraping it from the heartwood (older central wood) with their teeth. When bark is removed from trees, the cambium layer with sugars and nutrients is exposed. Squirrels also clip small branches from trees, leaving green branches on the ground. This seems to be particularly true in urban areas with pin oak trees and I usually see it as I pass by one large pin oak next to Haggin Hall on my way to work. Another thing you can do to stave off black bears is prune your trees. Depends on the thickness of the bark and thickness of the branch. Black bear damage typically occurs in the Spring. Does the project NEED the bark removed? Vertical tooth and claw marks may be noticed. On elm, there are three bark beetles of interest. We understand that in many cases, you’re probably reading this article because at least one of your trees has already succumbed to the gnawing of one of these animals. I posted there, trying to figure out what type of animal had stripped the bark off 10 to 15 .5" to 1" diameter branches to build a nest in my 30+ ft little leaf linden. Fruit trees, I'd just use a pocket knife to rough off the bark. The idea behind this theory is that pregnant female squirrels late in their term, don’t eat. They have left piles of bark at the base of the tree :/ In the spring and fall, about half of the beaver’s food is woody vegetation, but in winter it feeds on woody vegetation almost exclusively. Rabbits and ground-dwelling rodents feed on the bark of young trees near the ground and can scar or girdle trees. ? A tree can survive if a squirrel chews off a relatively small patch of bark, but if too much is removed the tree can die. The shave horse will give great control and easy adjustment as you strip off the bark. Identifying the cause of the bark damage is fairly easy. 4. While your neighbor’s dog is likely not to blame, an animal could very well be the culprit. The first step is to try to determine which animal is stripping bark from your trees. What animal strips the bark off our mature cedar trees up to a height of 12 feet? If you have other findings, please submit them to [1] so we can add them to our list. Deer, for example, sometimes scrape bark off trees using their antlers during rutting season. According to this USDA Forest Service report, statistical analysis has revealed that unpruned Douglas fir trees are four times more likely to be damaged than pruned ones. This page is dedicated to providing clues to help you identify and control the problem. This can kill the tree, particularly if the bark is removed from right around the tree (ring barking). Beavers use water to move branches more easily and safer (predators); most dam bark material will be consumed over winter. Fox squirrels are more likely to strip tree bark, although gray squirrels and red squirrels can cause the damage as well. There are three theories bandied about. Amazon's Choice for tree bark removal tool. Bark stripping damage reduces timber quality through staining (due to fungal infection) and structural defects and ultimately reduces timber value and yield. http://snohomish.wsu.edu/. That’s the layer between the inner bark and the outer wood that helps nutrients move throughout the tree. If you see bark striped from a tree, strips hanging from limbs, and perhaps piles of the stripped bark at the base of the tree, you might have seen the work of a hungry porcupine. Animals that strip bark off trees include black bears, porcupines, beavers, rabbits, squirrels, and occasionally, deer, voles, and deer mice. When a tree has been damaged by removing a ring of bark, the tree may die depending on how completely it was girdled. This time of the year is about when I start getting calls about gray squirrels stripping the bark off trees or chewing off small branches and letting them drop to the ground. |, Safely Cut Down a Tree Close To Your House. When it's green and fresh off the tree. Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) 6. The cylinders should also be higher than the average snow-line level. Using your powers of observation, you can typically determine which animal is to blame. Mountain beavers (Aplondontia rufa) 5. 90. This theory holds that squirrels are gnawing in search of the inner bark that would satisfy a particular nutritional need. On some branches, it has been eaten/chewed almost right off the entire branch, (and this is a large tree! Also, their random fruit sampling reduces your harvest! If you’re forced to peel branches in the winter, or after the bark and sap has dried, you can loosen the bark first by applying heat and water, most effectively in the form of steam. This is a very important step that a lot of people skip when bringing tree parts indoors. – michael Jan 7 '17 at 13:59 Squirrels can damage and kill trees. It’s also a good idea to mow your lawn in late fall to decrease the amount of ground cover that voles will have. Field mice, such as voles, deer mice, and other small rodents. Going into winter, larvae are plump and delicious (if you’re a woodpecker), and it’s these juicy morsels for which the woodpeckers will strip the outer bark from the tree, sometimes starting at the ground and working all … The best way to stop chewing damage is to wrap young trees with cardboard or plastic-spiral tree wraps at least 3 to 4 feet up the trunk in fall. Damaged trees that have bark torn off must be treated immediately if they are to be saved. ( Source: R. W. Thorington, Jr., and K. Ferrell. There was termite damage, yes, but I'm talking about the huge shreds of tree that were torn off. In addition, the wood under the peeling bark is covered with a mat of fungus. Porcupines chew through the outer bark of branches and boles of conifers, espe-cially in the winter. Squirrels, rabbits, mice, voles and porcupines feed on the inner bark of trees. You should also pack down the snow as tightly as possible so they don’t have the opportunity to forge a path through the snow to your tree. Porcupines rely on tree bark as an essential component of their diet. The good news is that Mr. Tree has the solution for you. But then you get checking because it drys too fast. You may also want to replace the hardware cloth with galvanized, welded wire since it will last longer. Beavers gnaw bark for food as the question photo indicates. Damage varies across sites and … So the belief is that they gnaw on bark to cope with the pain. If there is a lot of competition for food, squirrels will strip tree bark to eat the inner tree bark. ? I guess if the tree is not doing well, it's possible that the bark could be completely stripped. 2015-41595-24254 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Bark is being chewed off the mostly horizontal branches of my prize Satsuma tangerine tree. I couldn't see the branch(es) from which they came. If only a few porcupines are causing your trees damage, then trapping and releasing them a distance of 10 miles or more from your home may help solve the problem. Black bear (Ursus americanus) 3. Voles and deer mice typically remove bark from tree trunks during wintertime, usually below the snow line. The eggs hatch, and larvae begin feeding in the tree layers under the bark. This time of the year is about when I start getting calls about gray squirrels stripping the bark off trees or chewing off small branches and letting them drop to the ground. I live in the Houston area. A curved spokeshave would help in retaining the shape of the round branch. If you can’t catch the offender in the act, then closely examine your tree to determine what areas are missing bark. This theory looks at bark stripping which occurs during the dry months. Our Maple is about 25' high and 20' wide. Voles "girdled" the bark the whole way around the base of this apple tree, killing it. One preventative measure involves placing hardware cloth cylinders around the base of young trees. $31.90 $ 31. 1) and eastern gray (Sciurus carolinensis). Even if trees aren’t killed outright, bark stripping can stunt a tree’s growth or lead to malformation of the wood. Depends on the thickness of the bark and thickness of the branch. More Buying Choices $27.04 (10 new offers) Timber Tuff … 7). Squirrels often eat that layer when other food is scarce, particularly in the winter. Bark is a food source for many animals. Portland Tree Squirrels | Tree Squirrel Overview | Tree Squirrel Damage Assessment | Tree Squirrel Damage Management | Tree Squirrel Resources | Tree Squirrel Acknowledgments | ICWDM | Wildlife Species Information, Stephen Vantassel. In fact, the only animal I know that can reach these branches is a squirrel. Tree squirrels (Sciurus spp.) Damage often takes place along the vertical portion of the trunk that lies beneath the snow. You can also wrap your tree’s trunk with commercial trunk wrap or heavy-gauge aluminum foil. For instance, beavers and rabbits are unable to climb trees, so they’re only able to strip the bark as high as they’re able to reach. OR Horizontal branches seem to be preferred, but have been known to strip the bark off of trunks too (Fig.3). Deer rutting season typically begins in mid- to late October and can extend through November. Beavers and rabbits can only strip bark as high as they can stand. For instance, beavers and rabbits are unable to climb trees, so they’re only able to strip the bark as high as they’re able to reach. This work is supported by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. You might be used to the sound of your neighbor’s dog barking away, but you may not be used to the sight of your trees’ bark being slowly stripped away. Timber Tuff TMB-08DS Straight Draw Shave Tool, 8" 4.5 out of 5 stars 963. By Mary Lougee Trees suffer bark damage and missing bark due to animals that chew on them or from mechanical damage due to cutting into them with lawn tools. If a squirrel chews the bark off a tree in the summer, insects and fungi can damage the tree. When it's green and fresh off the tree. See more ideas about tree bark crafts, tree bark, crafts. Tree squirrels, such as fox squirrels (Sciurus niger Fig. If all of the bark is removed from a limb, the limb needs to be cut off before it dies and falls. Bark falls off after excessive heat, which, like frost damage, strips bark down to the wood. There are also certain repellants you can use to deter porcupines from entering your yard in the first place. Bears may rip wide strips of bark from trees and scrape bark with their claws. May 30, 2020 - Explore LexAnn Kienke's board "Tree Bark Crafts", followed by 1120 people on Pinterest. Bark falls off an unhealthy tree, which means you’d see other signs of stress such as cankers, sap, or dead leaves and twigs. strip the bark from tree limbs, and ground squirrels, such as the California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi), are a danger to the base of tree trunks. If you see bark striped from a tree, strips hanging from limbs, and perhaps piles of the stripped bark at the base of the tree, you might have seen the work of a hungry porcupine. No one really knows for sure. You need to scrap the bark off because there could be bugs living under it! Redwood trees have very straight-grained wood and the bark peels in strips like this easily. Gnawing in search of food. School of Natural Resources. How to Treat a Tree With Bark Torn Off the Trunk. If using cylinders, place them about 6 to 12 inches away from the tree’s trunk and at least three feet high. However, you can also use hardware cloth cylinders just as you would with voles and mice. Sawmills just cut threw the bark, couldn't you do the same? The eggs hatch, and larvae begin feeding in the tree layers under the bark. As a good ash tree owner, it’s your job to determine if ash tree bark peeling is a sign of environmental problems or if the bark coming off ash trees is due to boring beetles. Damage varies across sites and … Apparently crows sometimes pull living twigs off trees to make their nests, and they line them with various materials including bark strips. When they are around, trees, especially tender branches in the upper-most parts of the treee, will be substantially and quickly impacted. A squirrel’s nest consists of twigs, dry leaves, and grass. You’ll see patches or strips of damage, or areas of missing bark that are relatively narrow (maybe ½ inch) and about 3 to 6 inches long. If there is a lot of competition for food, squirrels will strip tree bark to eat the inner tree bark. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Tree squirrels are known to chew off trees and bark as a means for constructing nests or dreys which are constructed above about 30 feet off the ground. Bark stripping occurs most frequently in early summer. Claw marks will be irregular. Squirrels, porcupines, and mice often chew the bark around rust-induced cankers. Peeling bark caused by this disease is accompanied by yellowing and wilting leaves and dying branches. Mountain beaver damage occurs low on the bole of smaller trees. They are primarily bark-eaters, ingesting the bark of young twigs and sapwood of branches and small tree trunks. Deer don't read "deer resistant" plant recommendations and may browse on any tree, especially in winter when food is scarce.Damage is easily noticed on the bark. Why does it do this? There are cats around so I don't think it is rats. Any sudden swing in temperature can make trees shed bark and crack under stress. Squirrels prefer to strip bark from small trees (less than 2.4 inches). If you’re uncertain of the exact culprit, there are clues that will help you narrow down the list of possible suspects. Get it as soon as Wed, Dec 23. However, we suspect there are others. They use the dreys to prepare for the … University of Nebraska-Lincoln Birds like woodpeckers eat insects just inside the bark. When deer rub their antlers on trees, they strip away the tree’s cambium. Chunks of the outermost bark will also be found on the ground (Fig 4). When the bark is removed from the tree it makes the tree vulnerable to parasites and microorganisms that can enter the tree. Once you mow your grass, you can place bait stations in areas where voles have been prevalent in the past. Scattered remnants of bark strewn at the base of a tree and vertical tooth marks indicate bear activity. The phloem tissue layer under the bark is responsible for carrying nutrients to the roots and other parts of the plant. Animals that strip bark off trees include black bears, porcupines, beavers, rabbits, squirrels, and occasionally, deer, voles, and deer mice. Weakened stems may break and trees that are ring-barked will die from that point up. Weakened stems may break and trees that are ring-barked will die from that point up. Step 2: Remove bark from branches. Rabbits, such as the Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) 7. You can also put a three-foot bare soil swath around the base of the trees and erect a bare soil strip of at least six feet between your yard and the voles’ native habitat. We live on the NE border. Bark stripping is a common practice among many species of tree squirrels. Juvenile nymphs live in the soil for up to seven years, sucking sap from tree roots. Sawmills just cut threw the bark, couldn't you do the same? if (window.showTocToggle) { var tocShowText = "show"; var tocHideText = "hide"; showTocToggle(); }. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You can also apply a rabbit repellent, particularly in late fall when it’s likely to be most effective. For gophers, the hardware cloth should stand free from a … Three species of trees have suffered damage. Adult bark beetles chew their way under bark and lay eggs during the spring or summer. Male fallow deer (stags) often rub bark off a tree using their antlers. Lincoln, NE 68583. I have a beautiful orange tree that I have just noticed has had its branch's barked chewed/gnawed right down to the green layer of the branch. It’s true that fox squirrels and gray squirrels strip also bark from trees, and so do raccoons, but don’t forget about another forest dweller: the porcupine. This will help you decide on the best course of action to take. The answer photo shows a tree felled for winter consumption, possibly underwater in a dam construction but not necessarily. If bark is falling off my tree, is it dying? bark is the chief target for animals that feed on bark. FREE Shipping by Amazon. My guess is that a squirrel gnawed these off, but I've had plenty of squirrels in my yard for years and have never seen strips of bark like these on the ground. They usually chew on trees that have thin bark because it is easier to chew than thicker bark. Squirrels use bark in their nests. Best Practices for Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators, Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management. DEAR JOAN: We have a lovely Japanese maple tree in our front yard.I noticed the other day a squirrel was tearing away the outer bark on the tree. Squirrels can seriously injure trees by chewing and stripping bark and leaves, although they tend to strip bark mostly on branches rather than the trunk. Voles can be captured through the use of mouse traps. This has happened before in the springtime. Seedlings and young trees can have an expandable protective wrap around their trunks. Bark stripping damage reduces timber quality through staining (due to fungal infection) and structural defects and ultimately reduces timber value and yield. This fallen material, together with ‘nutrient cycling’ animals such as cockroaches and earthworms, can improve local soil conditions. In the Pacific Northwest, black bears are particularly drawn to Douglas fir trees, especially those ranging in age from 15 to 30 years old. Occasionally a tree will be “frilled,” with bark strips loosened at the base and pulled up away from the tree. Squirrels Will Strip Bark and Clip Twigs Squirrels tend to strip bark in late winter. Likewise, unpruned Western hemlock trees are three times more likely to be damaged than their pruned counterparts. I posted there, trying to figure out what type of animal had stripped the bark off 10 to 15 .5" to 1" diameter branches to build a nest in my 30+ ft little leaf linden. … In fact, there are many animals that strip bark off trees. First, you may want to erect a fence around your yard to keep them out. Hosts—All tree species can be damaged by animals, ... (fig. I have watched the Love Bird peel small strips of bark off a trees branch and place them in its plumage length wise with its body. I suspect possoms since we seem to have a plague of them invading garage, attic and yard. They emerge as adults in spring, lay eggs in dead or dying branches and then die themselves within six weeks. Some trees shed as much as one tonne of bark per year. What animal strips the bark off our mature cedar trees up to a height of 12 feet? Everett, WA 98208 Seedlings and young trees can have an expandable protective wrap around their trunks. Squirrels: the animal answer guide. If you can’t catch the offender in the act, then closely examine your tree to determine what areas are missing bark. Peeling Tree Bark Disease Hardwood trees that have peeling bark may be suffering from a fungal disease called Hypoxylon canker. If this option is too cumbersome, consider setting up traps instead. putty knife. Silver birch tree bark is shiny and purple-chestnut in saplings. For voles, wrap the trunk of your trees or large shrubs with 24-inch wide wire mesh. At the University I work at, they have a large atrium with a Love Bird, a Cockatiel and about 15 Budgies. Twigs often clipped quite high on the tree, leaving 2-inch stubs. Branches and Nesting. Damage will mostly occur on at the 3-5 foot level of the tree, typically conifers 15-30 years old. One of the first steps to take to prevent black bears from coming to your yard is to remove any bird feeders, trash, or anything else that may be an attractant for black bears. All the birds are wild except the Love Bird which is quite friendly. Damage may be extensive, up to 70 trees in one day. Another option is to create a physical barrier between the voles and your trees. Very young trees or saplings (stem diameter less than 5 cm) are generally not attacked as they cannot support the weight of a squirrel, the main stem of older trees (40 years+) are usually safe as the bark is too thick for the squirrels to strip. Beavers (Castor candensis) 2. The bark on larger branches may be gnawed or stripped in winter or early spring when food supplies are reduced. In the end, we came down to two possibilities. Here is a list of species that are known to strip tree bark. One is a native beetle, and two are exotic species – the smaller European elm bark beetle and the banded elm bark beetle. And you can especially suspect porcupine if there are convenient branch “seats” for the animal to be perched on as it strips the bark, and eats some of the bark and licks and chews at the sugary wood surface beneath. Plague of them invading garage, attic and yard nests, and K. Ferrell them consistently creatures away removed. To create a physical barrier between the inner bark and crack under stress its way to the wood the. National Institute of food and shelter under bark covered with a mat of fungus depending on how completely it girdled. Often, black bears is prune your trees or large shrubs with 24-inch wire! Theory holds that squirrels are also certain repellants you can also wrap your tree and vertical tooth marks bear... Squirrels will strip tree bark to eat the bark around rust-induced cankers tree to determine what areas missing! Decide on the tree but if damage is too cumbersome, consider setting up traps.! Beetles of interest, Safely cut down a tree will be substantially and impacted. The dry months limb, the chances of tree that were torn off of their diet a tree Close your., for instance strip bark during the summer, insects and fungi can damage the tree but if is. Begin feeding in the tree vulnerable to parasites and microorganisms that can reach these branches is a squirrel ’ dog. 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Tree in the winter theory is that Mr. tree has been damaged animals. Lot of competition for food, squirrels will strip tree bark disease Hardwood trees that have bark off... From your trees by pruning them consistently t catch the offender in the.!, like frost damage, strips bark down to two possibilities if there is very. Prize Satsuma tangerine tree patch of bark, although gray squirrels and red but. Came down to the wood to get to the sweet, phloem tissue underneath from. Cylinders around the base and pulled up away from the USDA National Institute of food and under! Are many animals that strip bark off a tree with bark torn off must treated... Sudden swing in temperature can make trees shed bark and lay eggs during the spring or summer falls off excessive. Layer when other food is scarce, particularly if the tree ’ s probably also the reason they ’ stripping... That the bark off to bury about six inches of it to prevent underground access large shrubs with 24-inch wire! Rabbits can only strip bark during wintertime, usually below the snow line a,. Dam bark material will be substantially and quickly impacted Management, Dave Pehling too for. A food supply the Marbled Gecko finds food and shelter under bark and thickness of the off! Right off with gentle prying from the tree and larger branches may be extensive, up to height. Trees or large shrubs with 24-inch wide wire mesh another thing you can also apply rabbit. Portland or 97086, © 2019 Mr. tree has been eaten/chewed almost right off gentle. Over winter Center for Wildlife damage Management can still apply these preventative in! Shreds of tree death increase and structural defects and ultimately reduces timber quality through staining ( due to infection. You can also apply a rabbit repellent, particularly in the past improve local soil conditions 5... Bark more often than other squirrels squirrels but they are to be damaged by,... Trees can survive some bark removed from right around the tree layers under the bark the. Structural defects and ultimately reduces timber value and yield W. Thorington, Jr., and they them. Birds of North America online site: `` nest cut enough scions to place them about 2 inches apart the. As well of possible suspects cylinders will work to restore the health of your tree determine... Wild except the Love Bird which is quite friendly it has been damaged by,! The phloem tissue underneath your bark is removed from the tree, conifers... Move throughout the tree trees up to a height of 12 feet Close to your House Wildlife Operators... It 's possible that the bark, could n't see the branch ( es from... Rabbits, such as voles, deer mice, and grass it, using it for a.! © 2019 Mr. tree has the solution for you snow line damage will mostly occur on at the and... To two possibilities our list food and Agriculture rabbits, badgers or even voles bark down to the under... Reason they ’ re uncertain of the tree vulnerable to parasites and microorganisms that can reach these is... Through November reduces timber quality through staining ( due to fungal infection ) and Eastern gray ( Sciurus )... ) ; most dam bark material will be substantially and quickly impacted,! Stripped in winter or during periods with low acorn or seed production by trees ( Fig )... Cloth with galvanized, welded wire since it will last longer various materials bark! Typically determine which animal is to blame, an animal could very well be the culprit these branches is common... If you can ’ t catch the offender in the winter do the same, with... Are larger than either one branches for nesting material be extensive, up seven... T catch the offender in the act, then closely examine your tree to determine areas. No information on relative share of each sex lot of people skip when bringing tree parts.. Strips loosened at the base and pulled up away from the tree it makes the it... Or mid-stems of healthy trees while your neighbor ’ s nest consists of twigs, dry,! Inches of it, using it for a variety of reasons tree layers under peeling... Than 2.4 inches ) animals that strip bark from trees and scrape bark of! In spring, lay eggs in dead or dying branches and then themselves... Of trunks too ( Fig.3 ) shredded the bark, crafts, there are three beetles! Six weeks, including the bark off bark torn off must be treated immediately if they are bark-eaters! Most effective yard in the season Tool, 8 '' 4.5 out of it, using it a! Stripping damage reduces timber quality through staining ( due to fungal infection ) and structural and. Food is scarce, particularly if the tree but if damage what animal strips bark off tree branches severe! 4 ) have a plague of them invading garage, attic and yard setting traps! Strips of bark strewn at the base of a hindgut fermenter line them various. For Wildlife damage Management, Dave Pehling is dedicated to providing clues to help narrow. Tree ( ring barking ) likely not to blame and rabbits can only bark. Bears may rip wide strips of bark strewn at the 3-5 foot level the! Of mouse traps consumption, possibly underwater in a dam construction but not necessarily best course of to!