picture of the week

February 6, 2023

Gray Squirrels Damage Tree Limbs in Winter

Cliff Sadof, Extension Entomologist, Purdue University

Since early January I have noticed that sections of twig being removed from limbs of a row of little leaf linden trees.  I took advantage of some nicer weather and thought I'd take some photos of the injury. I caught this gray squirrel as he was peeling the bark from the twigs. He was gracious enough to pose for me on a red maple that he may have stripped a bit earlier. January and February is the middle of winter breeding season for gray squirrels. A second breeding season occurs from May to July.  Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent gray squirrel damage to trees, other than not feeding them, or removing their nests.

Click image to enlarge
grey squirrel on red maple Adult gray squirrel with bark in mouth and stripped bark (on left).
grey squirrel Adult gray squirrel removing bark from Linden tree. Tree nest filled with leaves is on the right.
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