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Bunnies eating my peach tree...will it die?

Thank you in advance for your advice. I'm in Gurnee, IL (zone 5) and I just planted a redhaven dwarf peach tree. The night I planted it I noticed two bunnies by the tree. They were nibbling at the base of the tree. I have since put a bunny fence around the tree to keep them away. But, am I too late? Will my tree survive this or does it have to be replaced? Please take a look at the three pictures (the skinnier tree) and please let me know if you think it will survive or if I need to replace it.
I also posted three pictures (the thicker tree) of a flowering dogwood tree I just planted as well. Bunnies got to this one too. Will this survive?

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Location: Sussex. England

Re: Bunnies eating my peach tree...will it die?

Hi Savvy.

Looking at those pictures I think that your trees have a very good chance of survival. The trunks do not appear to be circled anywhere with continual damage and a lot of the wounds seem to be fairly shallow.
First of all get some protection over the wounds with a protective grafting ..or similar.. paint. This will seal the wounds and help keep disease spores out while the re-growth takes place.
Also you need to get some form of guards around those trees. I would suggest that you surround the tree with chicken wire in a circle some six inches away from the trunks.
Do not use those non see- through plastic guards as you will not be able to see how the wounds are healing.

Good luck.

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Re: Bunnies eating my peach tree...will it die?

Please, do not paint your tree. Research has shown that painting tree trunks or the pruned portions of limbs actually slows recovery and sometimes leads to death of trees. Allow the damage to self heal, but do put up a protective guard. Something more solid than chicken wire if possible. Cages will keep out the rabbits, but mice or voles will follow the rabbits and begin chewing on the damaged areas. There are commercially available tree guards. I have used plastic tubing that is used for drainage. It comes in several sizes and to fit it around the trunk cut it lengthwise and anchor the tube with spikes of some kind.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Re: Bunnies eating my peach tree...will it die?

Just today, I put a piece of hardware cloth around the base of my patio dwarf nectarine.

It used to have the white plastic spiral with "vent holes" -- well, I must agree with JONA because last week I realized the trunk of the nectarine was OOSING under the plastic. I was really cursing myself as I pulled the plastic away and discovered a realiy nasty, wet infected trunk.

I let it dry for the past week, keeping an eye out for any nibblers, and today put the protection on. You do really need the smaller mesh to keep the mice and voles out.

This spring,I discovered that mice/voles had completely girdled one of my espalier apple trees because they got in from where the spiral plastic had failed -- the spiral had become stretched open as the tree grew and I didn't realize the gap would present an entry point, AND I couldn't see the actual, very severe damage hidden beneath the plastic. Had I caught it earlier, I might have been able to save the tree.

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Re: Bunnies eating my peach tree...will it die?

Interesting, we have a professional orchardist saying paint the wounds and someone else saying strongly don't paint the wounds.

I went looking to see what others say, and pretty much everything I found says painting is outdated maybe even a "myth."

from washington state university was this:

Wound dressings do:
• seal in moisture and decay
• sometimes serve as a food source for pathogens
• prevent wound wood from forming
• inhibit compartmentalization
• eventually crack, exposing the tree to pathogens

Wound dressings do not:
• prevent entrance of decay organisms
• stop rot ... sealer.pdf

see also ... ee-wounds/

this ... index.html

was actual field research on treating wounds with various different substances and non-treated controls, that did not find any advantage to treating.

The closest to postive I found was

You may use wound dressings if you wish; however, some tree care specialists feel that wound dressings interfere with healing or callusing. A light application of tree wound dressing does indicate that someone attended to the problem and may make a pruning job look better or more professional.

which basically implies that painting the wound is strictly cosmetic.

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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Bunnies eating my peach tree...will it die?

I bow to Rainbows and Paulf's statements on painting or not painting.
I must confess that in our orchards we never paint apple or pears above trunk level.....however we do still paint damage to trunks.
Mainly for the reason that the trunk is so close to rain and mud splash from soil level.
We clean the wound back to fresh cambium and paint immediately so that no fresh spores can have fallen on to the wound.
Once either Collar Rot or Canker have established on a trunk the damage can be fatal.
Either way you go I would urge, as Applestar says, that you protect the tree with a guard that you can see through.

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