Field of Science


Girdling the hedge

Let TPP show you the privet hedge bordering his driveway along the property line. This is where the snow gets piled when, and if, the driveway gets shoveled. What is notable this year is just how thoroughly, completely, the bark was stripped from the stems, and privet is a species the bun-buns have never paid any attention to before. Of course, lots of other shrubs and small trees were protected by fencing, so perhaps this just shifted the bun-buns' preferences further down the species list. But a walk around the gardens showed lots of "bleached bones" limbs and stems, striped of bark to the wood. Our bunnies aren't very large, but as the snow piled up, they gained access to ever higher portions of the stems. Of course, none of this mattered at all if the stem was already girdled near its base. Here because of the snow accumulation, the hedge's stems have been gnawed cleanly from about 6 inches to about 30 inches. Not much to do but prune the entire hedge back almost to the ground and see how it grows back. More amusing, and much less harmful was a largish pile of hackberry branches from a large branch that broke off a big tree during a wind storm. But right now the branches look so strange because they've been gnawed clean of bark, starkly white, just like bleached bones. But our bunny population seems to be in good shape and eagerly awaiting the first green shoots that appear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have bun-buns, I have hares, but other than the difference in reach, the results are the same. And worse yet, those eagerly awaited flowers are on the menu too. A beautiful patch of crocus is nothing but a salad plate, the tulips are lovely for the first 24-48 hours and then a patch of decapitated stems. But woes aside, who would be without the old favorites, the new wonders, the glory that is our earth for the brief period before we thoughtlessly wreak such damage as no bun-bun is capable of?