What's eating my burning bush?

ellyni(6-7)October 16, 2008

I just planted two baby burning bushes a few weeks ago. I went out of town last weekend and when I came back I was horrified to find that something was eating my bushes! Whole branches were gone. It looked as though someone decided to take it upon themselves to prune my bush. But the remains were gone branches and all. This morning I notice my other bush had several of it's branches lying beneath it. Leaves were in tact on most of them and branches were still there. Some of them were even still pathetically hanging off the bush as if someone came by and decided that breaking the branch off was more efficient than shears. It's a gated back yard... so no deer. I occasionally see a rabbit or two in my yard. Never squirrels (but that doesn't mean they don't exist). So.. rabbits and squirrels? How do I get rid of them? Something that's safe for my puppy that likes to chew on the mulch surrounding it. (Of course, I can always keep my puppy away if such things don't exist) Thanks!

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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

My guess is rabbits. Look at the branch and if the cuts are at about 45 degrees angle then it is Peter Cotton Tail. Leave your dog outside, that will keep the critter/s away.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 3:38PM
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Thanks for the response! My puppy is still a baby though. Only 10 weeks old! I can't leave her outside by herself yet. She's small enough still to fit through the gate. Any other ideas?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 5:15PM
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Squirrels do not eat these plants, but both rabbits and deer will. The tooth marks of both the rabits and deer will be similar. The most effective means of control I have found is a good, tight fence that will prevent those buggers from getting near anough to eat the vegetation.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 7:42AM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Deer tooth cuts are straight across the stem not at an angle like rabbits. There are commercial sprays which DETTER rabbits. The most effective products contain something that smells bad and something that tastes bad to the varmint. Make sure you read the entire label before purchasing and before applying.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:58AM
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A good product to use would be capsaicin oil, it comes from peppers and it is hot to those plant chewers. Typically rabbits/squirrels don't like the oil, some may still find it tasty, but it is worth a shot. It won't harm your puppy or the rabbit/squirrel it is just hot enough to keep them away. Usually nurseries carry some.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 9:07PM
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