Last year around this time, rabbits wreaked havoc in the grove nibbling on the bark of the little trees. Some of them were nearly ring-barked, to the extent that what was left of the trunk/bark wasn't enough for the trees to recover from the damage.
Apparently this is somewhat of a spring problem. The bark on the trunks turn sweet in springtime, making it a lovely snack for animals. This probably also explains why the possums are chewing the bark off our apple trees! Amongst others. So, if you've got sheep grazing your grove, now would be the time to move them out. They too love the sweet bark and will nibble on your trees this time of year.
The little trees that were nibbled last year, made new growth lower down the trunk. In most cases this new growth were much more vigorous than the original tree. So, maxing out my own nerves, I decided to chop off the damaged trees to let the new growth become a new trees. Phew. That was one of my bolder moves in the grove.
|Downsizing our damaged trees in the hope of having more productive ones in a few years.|