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Trees/Squirrels are ravishing my Italian Cypress


Hello Robin.  
I need help! I have 4 thirteen year old, 20 foot Italian Cypress trees in my back yard. I noticed limbs were being torn/cut off the top of one of the trees and its looking terrible.  Then I saw the culprit; a red tailed fox squirrel. How do I get rid of it or prevent it from damaging my beautiful cypress trees any further? Its too painful to watch these majestic trees being stripped of their limbs!  HELP! What can I do?!!
PS. Killing them will not be an option. I love animals too. Thanks.
Bill in Dallas.

You indicated you do not want to kill, so I am assuming that also means live trapping and relocating as well.

It is actually a natural process, squirrels do in the wild.  Normally in a natural environment, there are many trees, and each tree will only have a small percentage of twigs or tips nipped off.   In an urban environment, especially if only one tree, the poor tree can take more suffering.   However, having said that the tree normally will survive anything a squirrel can do to it, and the impact is normally more an aesthetic issue than a health one.   There are ways to discourage squirrels, but applying them to something as massive and tall as even a smaller tree is daunting.  

Realistically, it is difficult to control, and the tree normally will not suffer terminal impact.   However, keep me updated on progress and if it does get really bad I will see what we can do.  I have sent off emails to peers to see if somebody has other ideas, and am awaiting their responses.  


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Robin Wells


Most of my experience is in urban forestry and landscape environment. Questions related to tree identification, tree diseases or insect related problems, soil related issues or soil science, pruning techniques or practices, pesticide related questions, fertilization of trees or shrubs, tree support systems (cabling or bracing), tree planting, tree watering needs or tree risk assessment/management, although insect related we also have a specific area dealing with the emerald ash borer.


30 years work in urban forestry. Bachelor degree in forestry. ISA Certified Arborist. ISA Certified Tree Risk Assessor. Consulting Arborist. Ontario licensed pesticide applicator.

ISA Intrenational ISA Ontario Ontario Commercial Arborist Association Tree Care Industry Association American Society of Consulting Arborists

Midland Mirror ( newspaper )

Bachelor degree in forestry. Many other post university seminars and courses in Aboriculture.

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Various commercial, residential, municipal, real estate and legal clients. Typically do not list the names.

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