Can I salvage mole-ravaged Japanese maple?

frankc23August 9, 2007

I just discovered that my Japanese maple has been ravaged by moles. One side of the root stucture is eaten away and the tree almost fell over. One of the chewed root "trunks" is dried up at the chew point. This happened two days ago and the tree is still green. Roots on the other side are intact.

Is there any way to salvage this tree?

If so, specific ideas are welcome.



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It's very possible, maybe even likely, that your tree could survive, but it's a good question whether there is enough remaining root structure for it ever to have a strong foundation. You could probably prop/stake it up for the time being, but the bigger it gets, the more likely it will be to come crashing down. Sorry.

In the meantime, whether for the sake of this tree or the next one, it looks like you're preparing to go to war with varmints! Are you certain that you have moles, or are you using the term loosely to indicate some type of burrowing pest? Moles did not do the damage to your roots, as they are carniverous only. They dig long tunnels and then patrol them waiting for bugs and worms to come crawling through. Gophers are vegetarians and may well be the culprits, or possibly voles that have taken up residence in an abandoned gopher or mole tunnel. Each requires a different extermination method because of their different lifestyle and diet. The sap and bark of Japanese Maples are extremely sweet, and once the little boogers have figured out what a banquet you're providing, they will continue to cause you trouble. A good garden center or your county ag/hort extension agent should be able to help if you need it. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 1:28PM
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