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yenling83

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I planted about 50 black pine seeds and they were just starting to sprout over the past few days. They still had the seed sheath, but were poking through the soil. I was so excited and was going to cut the tap root off and re plant. I went outside to take a peek and there was a bird sitting in the soil. The birds ate everything!!!!
 

Bill S

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I feel for you, that really sucks. It is also why when I do anything from seed now, I let them harden off before they get outside without some kind of covering. Hardening off seems to do the trick, not sure why, probably mighty tasty when just out and tender?????????

Most of my efforts were toward the vegetable garden, but between birds, squirrells, and chipmunks I have had a bunch get eaten up.
 

Attila Soos

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It's really frustrating, isn't it? I used to hate wildlife when it happened, and swore revenge every time. But I feel differently now.
Similar things happened to me too often, to get upset anymore. It's not the animals' fault, squirrels will always be squirrels, and birds will behave like birds.
When I leave things unprotected, I know that I am taking a chance, and it's my job to make sure that "accidents" don't happen.

But it's not too late to plant another batch, right now. You only lose a couple of months, and that's not much, when you look at a 15 year time-frame.
Whenever you plant fress moss, plant seeds, or create a miniature landscape, always protect it with a shield of wire mesh. You just build a tall cylinder around the pot, and put a lid on top, from the same material. You can get a large roll from Home Depot (galvanized iron screen, for about $40 - it will last you a lifetime), and it takes 5 minutes to build the protection.

I have a little fence around almost all of my small trees in bonsai pots. Mostly the shallow pots, or slabs, where the risk of kocking off the soil is greater. I started doing it two years ago, and the birds and squirrels never touched them again. The next challenge is to figure out a way to stop the rats from occasionally defoliating an entire tree. They do it once or twice a year, usually during summer, and have preference to certain species, such as maples. First, I started exterminating the rats, but I gave that up, since I figured that there may be a few million rats next door, in the Angeles National Forest, and killing 3 a week won't make a dent. Now I lean towards building the protective screen around every single tree that they seem to have a taste for. The good thing is that they don't care about conifers.
 
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jquast

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I've had to put a wire cage over my seed beds/containers to prevent birds and squirells from running off with my acorns and seedlings. Just run to OSH and get a small roll of chicken wire and raise it above your acorns/seedlings and problem solved.
 

yenling83

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Great replys! yes, luckly I have about 20 more seeds I can plant and I should probably get some more. I'll have to use one of the methods above to cover them. I've learned my lesson going forward. Thanks!
 

jquast

Shohin
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it has also been recommended to use chili powder sprinkled around trees/seeldings to keep animals at bay. I have not tried this yet but have been told that it works and has no effect on what we are trying to protect.
 

rockm

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"it has also been recommended to use chili powder sprinkled around trees/seeldings to keep animals at bay"

It will work until the squirrels and other wildlife (Deer) get used to it, takes a day or two. Won't deter them for long. Spring is the most barren time for local wildlife. Their stored supplies have run out and it's too early for any real fruit, nuts or foliage to be available. They will eat almost anything this time of year. Nothing much will stop them, short of a shotgun.

I have a squirrel that has taken to eating hundreds of twigs off an in-ground Arakawa maple for the sap. He simply clips off 1/4" twigs, eats the bark at the base and discards them. The tree is developing intense backbudding from the activity...I also have another who is busy eating the rafters of my house...
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I have a squirrel that has taken to eating hundreds of twigs off an in-ground Arakawa maple for the sap. He simply clips off 1/4" twigs, eats the bark at the base and discards them.

I have found that the fertilizer cakes I make with PlantTone and a little flour (as a binder) keep the squirrels from bothering my trees. They will find the ones without cakes and dig in them occasionally; a good reminder that it's time to replace the cakes!
 

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