did voles chew my pecan tree off underground?
I planted an already good-sized pecan tree in October 2011 that seemed to grow well this past year, but I just found it leaning over at about 45 degrees. It was still green beneath the bark so I potted it up, hoping it save it, but it basically only had 6 or 8 inches of roughly 1-1/2" diameter root with just a few small roots coming off nearer the surface. Just a couple inches up from where the main root had been detached from the rest of the root system it looked like it had been gnawed on all the way around the root such that the root diameter there was measurably smaller. Is this vole damage?
Other questions relating to this:
1. I planted this tree from a large pot so a lot of loose soil went in the planting hole. Does loose soil/potting soil/amended soil make vole problems worse? I mostly have pretty heavy clay soil, so I'm wondering if planting bare root trees in un-amended soil would help minimize these problems.
2. Can I put some kind of underground fence around the roots to keep these animals out? In other words, can I put some kind of small mesh material around the planting hole or root ball? What exactly should I use if there are any options like this?
3. Any other pointers on voles? I also have problems in the garden.