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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Animals and Madrone tree

Zone 98115 | Steven Domonkos Sr added on November 10, 2017 | Answered


I am having a major battle with some kind of ghost-like animal in my backyard. Squirrels or birds are chewing off my large Madrone tree leaves and young-shoots, so much so, that there are bare branches on the tree and at times bushels full of leaves on the ground. As the attached page shows, to prevent anything to crawl up the tree, I wrapped a 40” wide 1/8” clear and slippery plastic around the trunk… but still, by each morning there are freshly cut leaves on the ground. At least I like to know if other people are having the same problem. And if there is a solution?

Leafless in Seattle.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 10, 2017

I will share with you my method of controlling pests in a non-toxic way. I grow in container myself, and squirrels are a particular problem with container gardening.

Go and get the hottests peppers available in your area, and slice them up. (You may want to wear gloves) Boil them in some water with a little garlic that is crushed up. After boiling for about 10 to 15 minutes, you can remove this from the heat and let cool. Put this in a spray bottle, and spray as much of the tree with as much of the liquid as possible. Watch your eyes, and wear protective glasses while spraying and mind the direction of the wind.

This mixture will completely deter most pests from even wanting to be on the tree at all.

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