how to protect wrapped fig tree from mice?
I often wrap my outdoor fig trees in burlap and roof paper, but when I uncover in spring, I find that all I have done is provided mice with a warm protected nest! Bark is eaten and all old wood destroyed -- so I have to wait for new growth from base, setting the growing season back to point that figs cannot ripen. Should I somehow enclose trunk more closely?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Rather than using paper tree wrap, try the plastic coiled wrap that is flexible and perforated to allow air circulation. It comes in assorted diameters as well, so you can custom fit it to the current caliper of your tree and allow room for growth. Reputable nursery and garden supply centers carry this product. Nursery stock trees will often already have this flexible coil around the trunk. You only need it about two feet up from the base, which is about the height a rabbit can stretch.
Place three or four simple plastic snap mousetraps baited with a dab of peanut butter around the base of the tree. Check the traps each morning for a week. If the traps are sprung, remove any remains and re-bait them. If done consistently, you may eliminate the entire offending colony within that period.