Rabbits Stripping Bark from Fruit Trees

Answered by Harrod Horticultural Posted in Category Pest Control & Nature

Dear Martin

Sadly over the snowy period and some human sabotage to our rabbit wire some rabbits / hares got into our allotment and have stripped the bark from my fruit tree's apples,  pears etc....  is there something I need to paint on them to protect them from disease ????  any suggestions would be grateful.
Many Thanks & Best Regards
Mrs Julie Hotchkiss

Dear Julie

Many thanks for your recent enquiry concerning a kind of ‘tree repair paint’ to try and patch up the damage rabbits and hares have done to your fruit trees. Hopefully this is an isolated incident and they only turned to your tree bark as snow was preventing them from carrying out their normal nibbling activities!  

Although we don’t stock such a paint, I know from my experience working in a tree fruit orchard that treatments known as pruning compounds are available and used to help seal up pruning cuts. The material helps the cut to heal – or form a callus – quicker and prevents frost and bacteria entering the wound whilst the callus forms. I would expect this would help the damaged bark around your fruit trees to heal in much the same way and I’d certainly advocate the use of flexible tree guards or a more rigid mesh tree guard.  

I hope this information proves to be of help; many thanks once again for your enquiry and we hope to be of service to you in the near future.