Sunday, August 3, 2008

You Are Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Buster!

For the past few months something has been rooting in the soil of one of my loquat trees which are planted in giant terra cotta pots. I placed chunks of spiky driftwood in the planter, thinking this might discourage the perpetrator. This morning, to my horror, I see that a critter has stripped chunks of bark from the trunk of the loquat, and then proceeded to gnaw on the inner pith!
I thought I had left this random wildlife predation behind. Gardening in Rollingwood meant dealing with deer, foxes, armadillos, and snakes. I don’t remember any problems with animal destruction when I gardened at my other former home in the Zilker ‘hood.
What animal is so desperate that they would eat bark? There is plenty of fresh water in the birdbath. My neighbors apparently leave abundant petfood out for any takers. The grackles are so surfeited they regularly leave abandoned bits of kibble marinating in the birdbath. And don’t raccoons have all the delicacies they could possibly need in any convenient dumpster? Squirrels? Aren’t they coming off the largest acorn crop in the past ten years?
I put pipewrap on the trunk of the loquat for the time being. It looks hideous and I am not happy. I may have to go all Elmer Fudd on this varmint and twap the wascally wabbit.


Mean Rachel said...

hahaha I like this entry! :)

Maybe he wants a loquat.

Annie in Austin said...

That's awful, Libby! Since we put in the fountain we're not seeing as much animal damage but you're giving them water. I wonder if it's the squirrels (yes, I do tend to blame them for everything) going after the bark...they do rip the bark off the pecan trees, but I thought that was for nests.
Sure hope your loquat makes it.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Bob said...

I think it's a squirrel as well. It's just nervous chewimg they do. And yes I go all Elmer Fudd on the ones around my house. They are one animal that I can't tolerate their destruction.
Good luck saving that Loquat as they can be fragile when small.

Diana said...

You are a hoot! I sympathize with you on the tree bark bandit -- hope you find the culprit and bring him to justice!