This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

squirrel and apple

squirrel and apple

Today I was watching out the window as a squirrel tried to steal my single apple from my little Fugi apple tree. I have a knee-hi over the apple to protect it from apple maggots. What to do to protect from squirrels?! I banged on the window and chased him off twice. He didn't come back by nightfall, but I think he will very likely find a time when I am not standing by and guarding my tree. I don't think it will be ripe enough for me for another month yet.

The real problem is having only ONE apple on a tree! It doesn't bloom much since the big Norway maple in my back yard is shading it more every year. The apple tree is small (a dwarf) but too big to move. Maybe the maple will fall down some day.



Blogger Rachel said...

Not something I've ever tried, but maybe wrap the apple in foil. I've heard that most mammals refuse to chew on foil because of the metallic taste.

August 06, 2010 9:19 AM

Blogger JenSwan60 said...

A very complicated dilemma. Great photo. I can't wait to hear the end of the story -- will we have to wait years?

August 06, 2010 12:40 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

Cute photo, but too bad about the apple! Looks like it probably has some bite marks now... Maybe the brown stocking fooled the squirrel into thinking it was a giant nut?! I had a pumpkin eating squirrel around here a few years ago that I was SO frustrated with!

August 06, 2010 12:42 PM

Anonymous Debbie said...

I read somewhere if you take a clam shell container (like you get strawberries in at the grocery store), cut a hole for the branch or vine and enclose the fruit in it that it helps. The sun can still get at it and the critters can't. They love my zucchini and I tried to do it with them but the stem is kinda to short. You might give it a go, what have you got to loose.

August 06, 2010 6:41 PM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

I'm wondering if covering fruit with something non-transparent affects its nutrient content.

August 06, 2010 8:27 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Well, the single apple is still on my tree. The squirrel didn't come back after I chased him off twice. Maybe there are bite marks on the apple now, but I'm still thinking I'd like to see if I can get my single apple to ripen. Maybe next year I'll have more and learning a method will be useful.

The tin foil sounds like it might work. But I don't if its better if the covering is transparent. I'm more thinking of flavor adn appearance than nutrients since its just for ONE apple. The stockings actually leave a faint pattern on the apple.

I will try to find a clam shell. A good experiment - not much to loose.

August 06, 2010 9:30 PM

Blogger David Hoshaw said...

I have squirrels in my garden also, they love my tomatoes and was quite a challenge as the tomatoes we attacked by squirrels just before being ripe.

My solution that has worked so far was to get a "Have a Hart" trap".

Apply peanut butter to the bait tray, lead with some bird/squirrel seeds up to and into the cage. It took 36 hours to catch my first squirrel. The squirrels in my yard seem to always come out in the mid day afternoon.

In the past 10 days I have caught and relocated three squirrels to a large fruit bearing tree in our national forest 5 miles from my home.

The tomatoes in my yard are growing well without squirrel gnaws. The squirrels and I are much happier. Life is good! Hope this helps you and your squirrel challenges!

August 08, 2010 11:16 AM

Blogger Kelly said...

I also have tree with only ONE apple. My other tree had three, until my dog ate them. I hope the squirrel loses the apple war.

August 10, 2010 9:07 PM

Anonymous earlysnowdrop said...

Perhaps some sort of dangling ornament or the famous plastic garden snake draped on the branches near the apple might scare him away. If you go the plastic snake route, be sure to move it every day or so. Otherwise, the critters quickly realize he is not the real McCoy.

August 12, 2010 12:02 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Not a good year for apples from my tree. I think with so much shade and only only 3 apples set, how can I expect a harvest! The squirrel left this lone apple alone for 2 weeks after I chased him off, but yesterday I noticed it is gone. :(

Maybe the big shade tree will fall someday.. Otherwise, I'll buy my apples at the farm stand.

August 30, 2010 10:56 PM


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