Squirrels damage red oak stand in Rice County

damaged red oak

Multiple dead areas (i.e., cankers) found high on the stems and branches of red oaks in a pole-sized stand in Rice County have led to several trees with broken tops (see photo). It seems that the native squirrel population may be behind the damage. Apparently, in some years, squirrels will strip the bark of young pole-sized trees to assist in building their nests. We have seen this in rare instances over the years; once in black walnut. A cross-section of the canker damage reveals that the attack occurred sometime during the 1999-2000 dormant season.

Note the barrier zone (compartmentalization) evident in the cross-section that resulted from the wound. It was formed early in the spring of 2000.

damaged red oak cross section