This is a photo of a Purple Fountain Beech tree that just happens to belong to Craig Casino, the owner of Tree Green. You may notice the limbs scattered on the ground, courtesy of just one squirrel. Aren’t these furry little guys adorable?
Every year clients call asking why a wide variety of trees have branches laying on the ground. When we tell them that squirrels are the culprits, they often say that it can’t be squirrels. That the branches look like they were cut by a pruning shear, the cuts are so clean.
Well, in the second photo you see two examples of squirrel damaged branches. If the limbs are thin enough, one sharp bite will do the job. If your squirrels are after a thicker branch, a rougher cut will be evident as they have to work their way through with multiple bites.
Why do they do this? Two reasons. Sometimes to drop acorns or other ‘seeds’ to the ground to feed on, as they may not be able to access them from the outermost reaches of the limb. They then go down to the ground to collect their bounty. But usually… they do this to collect nesting material.
Now one might ask why don’t they then go down and collect all of the branches that they dropped?
Answer…. it’s too much work. They try to cut and quickly catch the branches to move them to their nest area. If the branch falls to the ground they think, oh well, too much work to go below and carry them all the way back up, lots more limbs to choose from up here, so I’ll just continue to aggravate Tree Green’s owner.