Sunday, February 25, 2007


Walking through the garden last week I noticed how badly the espaliered fruit trees are being nibbled on by mice. They stand on their hind legs and gnaw away at the bark which must be sweet and tasty. Now, I have never seen them, but all the orchard books warn about mice damage on young trees and suggest wrapping the base of their trunks with tree wrap. When I look closely, though, the damage seems to be created by little mouse-like teeth! Having no treewrap I use paper grocery bags cut into strips. Instead of tying the paper on which might girdle the tree itself if I forgot to loosen the string, I use small bits of plastic tape. I know eventually the paper will rot away and be absorbed into the soil. And the bits of plastic tape will probably be with us indefinitely. More bits of 21st century plastic detritus adding substance to the soil. It is interesting to note that the only trees affected are the pears and apples. For some reason the two cherry trees are ignored. Perhaps their bark is bitter?

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