I have a young oak tree that is still alive even though the bark has been eaten off it by field mice/gophers. How can I keep the creatures from eating the bark off this tree and killing it? I've seen trees painted with something white in orchards. Is this a way to keep the creatures from eating the bark off the tree? If so, is this just plain white paint, and can I use it to save this oak tree?
Young Oak Tree
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Do you know for certain that these are in fact the pests attacking the bark? How high up is the damage? Most likely your culprit is due to rabbits. Rabbits feed on and damage the bark and twigs of landscape plants. Their chewing can permanently disfigure or even kill a tree. As long as the tree is thriving, it should be fine. However, removing or reducing the vegetative cover around your tree will help deter these pests, and placing plastic or metal cylinders around the base of the trees (bury them a few inches below soil) should help alleviate any future damage. These articles should also help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/repairing-tree-bark-damage.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/garden-mouse-control.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/eliminate-gophers.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/how-to-keep-rabbits-out-of-gardens.htm