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Thread: What animal is eating my maple bark!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mount Vernon Maine
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    103

    Default What animal is eating my maple bark!

    My son noticed several trees, all small caliper, with wounds as in the picture, generally low on the trunk. There was one tree where an area of bark was removed at about 5'.

    Who is the likely culprit? Porcupine? Squirrels? Deer? I'm 1000' from a stream and have never seen beavers this far up hill. Someone will pay a price for this transgression.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2x4 concrete block arch with three steam trays
    Separate warming stove/steam tray
    2016 12 taps, 3 gallons
    2018 15 taps, 7 gallons
    2019 38 taps, 13.6 gallons
    2020 40 taps, 13.7 gallons
    Mostly sugar maples, a few reds on 200 year old homestead

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
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    158

    Default

    looks like beaver chews to me.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - going for 100 taps bags and buckets

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Ashtabula County, Ohio
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    Although at first look I would be inclined to say porcupine, I am calling pileated woodpeckers. These are the big ones. I have a pair at my sugarhouse right now. They have an 8" red maple almost girdled. I think they are marking their territory,as opposed to looking for bugs, because I was able to sit inside and through the window witness them pecking at an almost perpendicular angle to the tree to flake off the bark. The tree is 100% alive with no rot. The reason I feel its territorial is because it is right next to a window. They see their reflections, fly into the window, then peck the tree.20200412_180939.jpg
    Last edited by heus; 04-18-2020 at 08:11 PM.
    1000 taps on vacuum back down to 105 buckets
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    CDL 12" vacuum filter
    2019 Kawasaki Mule Pro MX Sap Hauler
    Past evaporators: Phaneuf 2x6, A&A 2.5x10, Smoky Lake 2x8 (oil then wood fired)
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal 2020: 30 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cabot Vermont
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    that is porcupine chews.
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Leeds County,Ontario,Canada
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    Default

    That’s porcupine,dealt with them before. Beaver would have the tree like an hourglass,pileated woodpecker wouldn’t go all the way around,plus there would be large chunks of wood laying around. Look up in the tops of trees mid morning or mid afternoon on a sunny day,you will find the porcupine there sunning himself and nibbling on the twigs. Scout around you may find his home,be a big old tree with a hollow in it and there will be droppings at the base.
    7th generation maple producer in sugarhouse built in 1892
    2x World Champion Maple Syrup Producer
    1250 taps on cv adapters
    Leader Vortex 3x14 with Max Flue and Revolution Syrup Pan,Enhanced Steam Away
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bow, NH
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    478

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    A porky. A pileated would have asked permission first. This transcendentalist proselytizer knocked on our door for a week but I knew better than to answer it.

    Pileated 09.jpg
    Bruce Treat
    750 Sugar Maple Taps
    5/16 & 3/16 w/ .225 Spiles
    H2O Innovation RO
    2X6 Grimm w/ Preheater & Blower
    Bow, New Hampshire

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
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    5,639

    Default

    Looks like quill pig to me.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sugar Camp, Wisconsin
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    I have damage every year from porcupines They like the maples and red oaks. They usually strip off the bark all the way around a branch, killing it, but in my case are always up in the crown of the trees. Jay

    Porcupine Damage (1).jpg Porcupine Damage (2).jpg Porcupine Damage (3).jpg
    Zucker Lager

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,008

    Default

    Definitely porcupine. Solution is the same as that for squirrels...high velocity lead poisoning.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mount Vernon Maine
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Thanks to all for commenting. Porcupine seems to be the consensus, though I do have pileated woodpeckers in the yard. I'll set up a game cam and do some searching. We've had a porcupine frequent our yard every summer and he/she has not been a problem, though last year he/she pruned our mulberry tree heavily and I don't want them in the apple trees.
    2x4 concrete block arch with three steam trays
    Separate warming stove/steam tray
    2016 12 taps, 3 gallons
    2018 15 taps, 7 gallons
    2019 38 taps, 13.6 gallons
    2020 40 taps, 13.7 gallons
    Mostly sugar maples, a few reds on 200 year old homestead

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