Keeping mice out of tree tubes

L

LoessHillsArcher

Guest
I know this is almost impossible. We've keep a 5ft circle around each tube weed free and try to clean the leaves out of the tubes each fall. But it never fails, mice still find these tubes inviting. We've thought about dropping a moth ball down each tube... has anyone tried this before? Would the moth ball have any negatiive effect to the young tree? Are there any other ideas people have for keeping mice out of tree tubes?

On a positive note: those mice and their nest do make good trapping bait and walking tree tubes is a great way to stock up on them!
 

scott44

5 year old buck +
I know this is almost impossible. We've keep a 5ft circle around each tube weed free and try to clean the leaves out of the tubes each fall. But it never fails, mice still find these tubes inviting. We've thought about dropping a moth ball down each tube... has anyone tried this before? Would the moth ball have any negatiive effect to the young tree? Are there any other ideas people have for keeping mice out of tree tubes?

On a positive note: those mice and their nest do make good trapping bait and walking tree tubes is a great way to stock up on them!

I bury mine 1-2" in the ground, not to say they can't burrow underneath the tubes but it seems to work, some of the ones that I haven't got buried have had nests in them. Good idea on the 5' weed free circle.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
What seems to have worked for us at my camp is to pile pea-sized limestone gravel or limestone screenings ( fines ) around the bases of the hardware cloth tubes or aluminum window screens that we use for mouse / vole protection. We don't use the plastic type tubes. Little furries don't like to dig / tunnel into that jagged stone. We also do the 4' to 5' weed-free circle. We pile the stone 3" to 4" deep. Around my area, limestone is pretty inexpensive, and it does the job.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Is your tube firm to the ground? Like Scott44 said, you need to be sure you've got a firm contact with or into the ground.
Has your tube slid up it's stake? I had a bunch do that, mulch falls under it and holds the tube off the ground. I switched to fiberglass U-stakes, ditched zip ties, and went to rubber twisters.
Mulch? If so, what kind? I've done it wrong up until this year. I switched to pea gravel. Costs about a buck per tree if you buy bags at a big box.

Here is my most recent setup from this year's planting. I have to go back and get the stake on the inside of the tube. Then I'm ready to declare that process: Figured out.
tube.jpg
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Come to think of it, that tube looks like I got it on there upside down. Ha! Better put my "figured out" on hold.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
Drop a Tom Cat in each tube.


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Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
SD51555 - If you were asking me if our tubes were tight to the ground - yes. But our tree wraps are of 1/4" hardware cloth or alum. window screen that has been stapled shut. Then we put landscape cloth down as you did in your pix and cover it up with 3-4" if limestone gravel. We just cover up the whole area of cloth. Our limestone gravel is sharp & jagged so the mice / voles don't want to tunnel into it. And if they DO start a hole or tunnel - it collapses in on them! We heap our stone up around the base of the screen like you did your plastic tubes. Pretty much the same rig. ( Bur has a good idea too. Tomcat ^^^ ) Good luck.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
That'll do just fine. I like it.
 

2ndHand

5 year old buck +
Is your tube firm to the ground? Like Scott44 said, you need to be sure you've got a firm contact with or into the ground.
Has your tube slid up it's stake? I had a bunch do that, mulch falls under it and holds the tube off the ground. I switched to fiberglass U-stakes, ditched zip ties, and went to rubber twisters.
Mulch? If so, what kind? I've done it wrong up until this year. I switched to pea gravel. Costs about a buck per tree if you buy bags at a big box.

Here is my most recent setup from this year's planting. I have to go back and get the stake on the inside of the tube. Then I'm ready to declare that process: Figured out.
View attachment 2606

Hey SD, It's hard to tell from the photo, but I think you have the tube installed correctly. The solid / non-vented end goes against the ground. What did you plant?
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Those are bur oak plugs from Itasca Greenhouse. I'm going in there with the snippers in spring and clearing out the brush. There isn't too much, but I want to keep the sunlight on them until they can reach above. In between all them I am planting as many black chokeberry as I can fit. The rest will go around the north end of the food plot.

I thought I had it the right way as well. That zip tie being so low to the ground is what has me questioning myself.
 

Jim Timber

5 year old buck +
our tree wraps are of 1/4" hardware cloth or alum. window screen that has been stapled shut.

Could you post a pic of how you do the hardware cloth wrap?
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
I haven't been up to my camp in 3 wks. - wife had surgery - been " man-servant " for her recovery. All good, thank God! I tried to post some pix of our fruit trees 7 weeks ago, and I couldn't get them to post. Gotta get the computer geek across the drive to show me !!! Meantime - I can tell you accurately. For the hardware cloth wrap, I take 3 ft. tall, 1/4" mesh ( which I buy in bulk off a big roll ) and cut it so I can make 4" dia. tubes. To close the tubes, I use either soft galvanized wire or zip-ties. I end up with a 4" dia. " tube ", 3 ft. tall, of 1/4" mesh. If the tree I plant is a whip, I just drop it over the whip, set it down on the landscape cloth, anchor with landscape staples, and pile limestone gravel all over fabric, heap it up around the mesh tube - done.

If I can get my neighbor to show me how to post my pix of my camp & trees, I'm happy to share them. He works odd hours - hopefully I can catch him.
 

Jim Timber

5 year old buck +
That coupled with a tomcat bait block could be the way to go on my place. We definitely have mice.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
Make sure your pets do not get that Tomcat. Some of the newer rodenticides are virtually untreatable for pets. We can try a few things, but not like the older poisons. Eating the mouse can also cause problems for your dog.
 
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