Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gnaw, I Didn't Eat Yer Shrubs This Winter

Way more snow = way more rabbit damage, as seen below. We'll discover how adroit I am at trimming and shaping shrubs soon enough.

'Tiger Eyes' Sumac looks to be in trouble. Will new branches just ignore this and still grow out, even if the nodes or whatever are gone?

The willow will look more like a pillar than a nice round shrub once I try to even it out, at least until mid summer.

A 3 foot tall red chokeberry is now 18 inches. I'm starting over since they grow so painfully slow anyway.

A burning bush relegated to behind the a/c unit lost half its je ne sais quoi.

And how quickly one forgets the 3-4 foot snow drifts, until one looks at the gnawed off crabapple branch about, oh, 4-5 feet off the ground.

Finally, you would not believe--you can not imagine--just how much rabbit crap is everywhere. I do not look forward to kneeling in the garden this spring. Over by the willow you can't see mulch. Seriously. I forgot to take a picture, but just imagine if someone dumped gallons of M&Ms in your living room. No, the rabbit did not poop in blue or red or yellow, but I wish he had. I could pretend it were flowers. Or Wonka Land. Or a pick up game of marbles. Or [insert your witty remark here, and if you don't wit, it won't please anyone a whit].

Garfield Minus Garfield sums up today's post:


Anonymous said...

Or a pile of ammunition for a pellet gun, aimed at rabbits. I am actually quite averse to all types of guns, but it is the first metaphor that came to mind. I wonder if there are bad tasting/poisonous shrubs or plants that might be planted as a barrier to the ones they like? It is what I am trying with the voles. Daffodils and foxgloves by the score. It won't stop the burrows, but they won't eat the plants and maybe they will move on to better pastures.

Randy Emmitt said...


Rabbits can eat only so much, your plants will likely rebound nicely and have stimulated root growth. We have derr eating our camellias. One small camellia planted about a month ago was pulled up the other day where they were pulling leaves off it.

Les said...

At least your rabbits were polite enough to leave some fertilizer in exchange for their meal. I know it is not just compensation, so if you like, I can give you my aunt's rabbit salad recipe.

mr_subjunctive said...

I bet painting the rabbit poop in a rainbow of pastel, Easter/spring kind of colors would make you mind it less. It's like they say: "When life gives you lemons, go paint some rabbit turds."

Kimberly said...

Yes, my garden suffers from rabbit mutilation as well. They nibble to the nub!

Gail said...

Oh crap! I'm sorry benjamin...that's what I thought of when I imagined all the plant damage~~Here the squirrels and chipmunks are as badly behaved...gail

Jean Campbell said...

Build a trap, get a dog or a cat; shoot it, establish a wildlife sanctuary. The possibilities are endless. I remember a time, years ago, when two middleaged female relatives chased a rabbit to ground. As best I remember, they skinned and cooked him.

Jim Groble said...

Wow! I feel lucky. We lost only two bushes to the drive through. With luck, they will be back. Around June our rabbits go crazy and well, you already now about deer. jim

Lynne said...

Benjamin- I know exactly how you feel. The deer have just eaten my roses for the second time this spring, and they look just as unhappy as your shrubs. I know that they'll recover (slowly), but I am considering an electric fence.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Frances--I think there are such plants, but would they work in winter? I need rabbit eating winter shrubs.
Randy--Way to look at the flip side, literally! Stimulated root growth better equal stimulated twig growth.
Les-- Rabbit salad? You mean rabbit meat and not rabbit scat, right?
Mr S--You are always so full of wisdom, I am humbled. Truly humbled.
Kimberly--Maybe electric shrubs are in order.
Gail--Nature, can't live with it, can't live without it. Sorta like women....
NellJean--Last year we hada rabbit brood in our elephant ear. I think they all implanted on our yard!
Jim--I get a rabbit lull from April to June, breeding I assume, then my asters get knocked back to the stone age.
Lynne--Isn't electric fence the name of a rock band?

Shyrlene said...

Benjamin - I had no idea I had so many kindred spirits out there?!! Boy, do I feel your pain! Someone told me that once a bush's trunk gets 'woody', they leave them alone. HAH! They use the bark as a rasp to sharpen their teeth!! And the worst is when they snip the tender branches and then don't even eat them - they leave the pile behind w/ the 'bunny pellets'. (Whoa - no more caffine for me today.)

wiseacre said...

Oh, those pesky wabbits. You need an Acme Electronic Pest Control Robot. Just make sure you don't put a pic of yourself in the slot.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Shyrlene--I have chokeberry twigs budding that were gnawed off and left on the ground. I did some snipping, stuck them in the soil (wood is still fresh), and hope they might actually root
WA--Do they sell those at Target or Home Depot or Ace Hardware?