Protecting apple seedlings
Habitat Improvement
Messages posted to thread:
Grubby 12-May-17
35-Acre 12-May-17
Teeton 12-May-17
t-roy 12-May-17
chasin wtails 14-May-17
r-man 14-May-17
lawdy 15-May-17
Fuzzy 15-May-17
kadbow 16-May-17
Habitat1 17-May-17
happygolucky 17-May-17

By: Grubby

I'm planting some dolgo crabapple, I have tubes and will fence them. I have heard a lot of you recommend wrapping them with screen to protect against mice. Can I wrap the tube? My 2 foot tall seedlings don't have much to wrap


I've heard the tubes protect them in the same manner. Someone on here posted that the mice won't dig to get to the tree. So if you sink the tube in the ground a bit you should be OK.

By: Teeton

I've use the off white tubes, if that's what your talking about. Never had a mice problem..

By: t-roy

I would definitely protect the trunks with some kind of screening and not just rely on your tubes to protect against mice and voles.I had tubes on some chestnuts and the tube was even down in the ground an inch or so. Mice or voles still got in them and girdled several of them, including a couple that were over 10' tall and 2" in diameter. It's generally not a problem until late fall into the winter. I started putting tubes on them when I planted them in the spring and leave them on until early fall. The tubes seem to help them grow more vigorously. I then took the tubes off in September and wrapped some window screening around the trunks about 20"-24" (depending on how much snow you usually get). You can just staple the screen together to hold it in place.

There was a thread similar to this one a year or so ago. A guy on there said he had good luck with spraying a "Flexseal" type coating on his tree trunks to protect them. I'm going to try it out this year. I will be using the white colored one. The black or dark colors may cause sun scald.


You may not have problems with the mice until the trees get older. I have a number of tree tubes and, as stated above, in the fall/winter they get inside the tube and build a nest around the tree. I have had some that don't do anything to the tree and some that have girdled them ultimately killing them.

By: r-man

vicks vapor rub around the bottom 6" . lightly. and rat poison. around me rabbits are the bark nibblers , not mice. next is the borer , the bug eats it from the inside out.

By: lawdy

I have a small apple orchard and my brother is the extension fruit specialist at our state university. We use fine mesh wire around the trunks of young trees. 2-3 feet high. We also use 6 foot fencing around each tree. On the older trees, I hang slices of Irish Spring soap. We have a lot of bear up here. Electric fencing with bacon hanging from it works. If not, a bullet. Downstate, they have a brutal time with deer and we get depredation permits. Had 14 from one orchard. People post their land around the orchards in order to have a lot of deer around for their own hunting or viewing. They jump a 6 foot fence like nothing. You shoot a couple and 15 minutes later, the herd comes back. The meat we don't use goes to food banks. Up here, the deer are scarce and winter is when they key on apple orchards as they yard up. Bear destroy trees when the apples are ripe. No fence can stop a bear up here except an electric one, if you are lucky.

By: Fuzzy

I've had luck making cages from woven wire fencing and tying empty milk jugs to them, the light color and banging around in the wind seems to deter them.

By: kadbow

I planted a few on my place. Lost the first batch to voles. Put wire screen around the second batch and fence for deer of course. About lost one last year to a raccoon, it finally had fruit and he about broke it down trying to get it. My trees now look like they are in a high security prison. Hopefully it works.


Most fruit trees we don't tube,but we tube every other kind.I take window screen and make a cage around the trunk ,usually around 12 inches high and then use a regular paper stapler to fasten, forming a screen tube that is around 2 inches larger than tree.Then I lay down lumanite for a ground barrier to help conserve moisture. Then I use 2x4 fencing to make a cage around the tree to protect from deer.If I am planning on watering I will take a 5 gallon bucket and,drill a 1/4 inch hole on side towards bottom.Seems like alot of work but how much work is it to take a shortcut then replace the tree in a year or 2


I also use wire screening around the trees stapled. I use landscape fabric around the tree and cover it with stones/pebbles. This prevents weeds and the mice/voles won't dig through the stones like they would mulch to get to the trees.

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