Rabbits love cherries

Just kind of a test here to see about posting and adding photos. Not much fruit growing in these parts at this time of year, but we had a bit of fresh snow the other day and the next morning it was apparent that we had quite the herd of rabbits that came around for a nibble overnight. These are sour bush cherries from the U of Saskatchewan program, and they are bushy enough that the rabbits seem only to be able to nibble some of the terminal buds but can’t get in far enough to do any real damage. I guess I’ll just call it free pruning, lol.

photo Feb2815CherryRabbits6.jpg


Welcome to the Forum.

Those wascally wabbits!!!

Glad they didn’t do too much damage.


Hmm, but can you actually see the photo I included in my post? I could see it in the preview, but now cannot see it when I come back and read the posted thread.

I see it. Footprints all around


Nice picture Don. I was thinking yours are all different varieties, but can’t recall how long in the ground.

I’ve had the 5 CJ’s in since '11 & '12 and now 2 CP’s that went in last year, and now I have a couple Juliet’s coming from HBUSA in the fall.

All mine are either fenced or caged, but I experienced a li’l pruning on a newly planted CP that was in full leaf last summer. It was getting close to the end of the day and I’d removed the cage to weed whack. My wife called me inside, and somehow I plum forgot about what I’d been up to I guess, and I never made it back outside to replace the cage.

Next morning I look out and there’s three deer messing around over there. I ran 'em off but not before they’d stripped 90% of the leaves.

Dang I was sick. Mad at myself for leaving it unprotected, etc. But I think it’ll be fine. They didn’t nibble any of the wood, just leaves.

Nothing growing around here either, but in a couple days it’s supposed to start warming up nicely.

Okay, thanks folks. Funny, I still can’t see the photo myself.

IowaJer, Sorry the deer ate all your leaves but I agree with you that the bushes should be fine. I live in a city and have a 17 year-old cat so I cut a hole under one fenceboard so she can make it between the front and back yard. The rabbits use the access too, and once a porcupine(!), but deer aren’t an issue for me. The bushes seem bushy enough that the birds don’t seem to notice the fruit (not yet at least).

I have 4 bushes – one each of Carmine Jewel, Cupid, Juliet and Romeo – all planted in spring 2011. Last year was the first year they really started fruiting and I got fruit from all of them.

Thats a nice picture, with evidence and it gives a good idea of the rabbit browsing habit.

My rabbits have eaten sumacs to the ground. They ate a pawpaw to the ground. Most of my appetizing woody plants have screens for rabbits, deer, and voles based on lots of frustrations.

I bought an owl house. I hear owls in the distance. Maybe if I give them a home base they will eat some of the rabbits and voles.

I need to do something about the rabbit(s?) which frequent my yard. So far, I’ve been unable to trap it/them (unlike raccoon and squirrels). With the deep snow this year, they were able to reach a lot more than I’ve ever seen damaged in the past. A lot of trees lost most of their bottom layer of fruit buds, up to almost 3 feet.

At least they leave me lots of fertilizer…But I really don’t want to eat any early drops this year.

Wow…Bob you really have a rabbit issue. I went out and done a quick survey today and I saw not one bit of damage…nada. Funny thing is I also never saw any tracks in the yard after snows, no deer, no rabbit and only the occasional dog passing through.

Same thing here Bob.
We had an exceptionally cold winter which allowed the snow pack to persist and grow.
I pruned my tree up on a branch with the most amount of damage, taking the whole limb.
Hopefully this will translate to filling out the upper part of the tree more.

If this happens again, I’ve been given permission to “shoot, dont tell” if sighted.

One advantage of my long fight with deer is I leave very little in the way of low branches anymore. So, I have rabbits but I mainly see them munching on prunings I didn’t pick up. One critter I don’t have to go after :smile:

I should be thankful that despite a “Deer Crossing” sign a short way down the road, I haven’t seen a deer in the yard during the 5 years I’ve been here.

Even the rabbit damage doesn’t seem as bad as what happened to MrsG. For me, most of the damage was gnawed off fruit buds, with no girdled trunks. In fact, they even missed a few fruit buds, as you can see on the first bud to the right of the stem damage above. Not to say it wasn’t bad- I have one well branched young (1 year in ground) pear which now looks like a whip.

My trees seem OK when branches are above about 5 feet. At that size, the trunk bark also seems unpalatable to rabbits and voles. I wanted backyard-orchard-culture type trees with low branching and me not having to be on ladders, but I don’t always get what I want. :smile:

Rabbits have been sneaky. They get into my deer cages, so I need a double effort, tall fencing for deer, and low hardware cloth tubes for rabbits.

I don’t know what is eating the fig buds. Might be birds. Maybe I need a gigantic dome over everything.

Daniel, I’m sorry, but you have me rolling on the floor “giant dome over evertyhing”. Too dang funny. I feel your pain. Between the California Thrashers (check out a photo of them and their horrifyingly devasting curved beak that can wreak incredible damage swiftly to figs and stone fruits), the Mockingbirds, ground squirrels, roof rats, gophers, and rabbits, it is a wonder I get any fruit at all.

Patty glad I provided some humor :smile:

I bought an owl-box but have not installed it yet. I do hear owls in the distance. I still have rabbits and voles. “Someone” recently removed all of our kitchen cabinets, tore up the kitchen floor, and installed some new framing. That was not deer or rabbits, might be gremlins. The new cabinets and flooring are in the garage, but gremlins are not going to install them. So it’s up to me.

That’s interesting wikipedia says the thrashers primarily eat insects and small invertebrates. Maybe the figs count as an invertebrate. No backbone.

Well, we’ve got voles here, too, but much reduced since I have snake fencing up around my perimeter, which was no small task since I probably enclosed about 3/4 of an acre. I just call them mice, but most of them are probably voles since they have short tails.

California Thrashers eat a varied diet depending upon whether they’re feeding nestlings or not. If it is off-nestling time, they eat lots of berries and fruits. Along with seeds. I am constantly shooing them out of my fig trees. I have two figs in big pots on my patio by my pool. We can see them out our family room and living room windows. Anytime I hear my husband yelling and running outside, I know he’s trying to shoo the Thrashers out of the fig trees :slight_smile: Their diets will switch to insects during nestling time (increasing the protein in their diet for the babies). They can maim and destroy a ripe fig in about 10 seconds.