Winter protecting first year trees

I tried searching for this but didn’t come up with much.

Is there anything I should do for winter protection on bench grafts I did this spring? I only have about 6 apricots that took, but don’t want to lose them over winter if there was something I could’ve done to protect them.

I would water them occasionally if you have a dry winter.

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Protect the base from rodents, especially if you have prolonged snow cover.

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@TurkeyCreekTrees - They’re in-ground and we usually get quite a bit of snow. I should’ve mentioned that.

I have some tree tubes that were given to me. Is it a good idea to use them, or will they just become a home for rodents?

I do not have any experience with tree tubes, but I think I recall some conversation about small rodents getting inside tubes in the past. Locally, rabbits are the big problem and it has been relatively easy to keep them out. Moles/voles might be another story…

i use tubes here and we get a lot of snow. i also put out block poison in 6in. sections of pvc pipe placed around the property just before the 1st snow. otherwise the buggers will climb up your tubes under the snow and get to your trees. i speak from experience here. voles completely destroyed my neighbors trees and blueberry bushes but nothing got to mine. now he’s putting out poison for them as well.

I think I remember reading that too, but couldn’t find it again. Fortunately rabbits aren’t too bad here. They must have enough woods to keep them entertained. Deer and voles are another story… I found a nest of voles when I was clearing off my garden this fall. :angry:

Do you just randomly place them? How big of PVC are you using. I have a dog and wouldn’t want him to get into them at all.

i use 2in. just big enough to put the pieces in . i use tomcat from TSC. comes in small buckets already cut to 1in. pieces. i also duct tape at one end then place the open end at a incline so water doesn’t get in there. i place one every 20 yards or so around the perimeter of the property. i put a few extra on the side that borders a abandoned field where most of them come from. i also put a few around my most susceptible trees and bushes. make sure if you use the tubes to dig down a little around the tree so you can get the tube down as far toward the roots as you can go. other wise the buggers can get down under it and girdle just below the soil line.

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Thanks for the advice. I haven’t had any issues yet with them on trees, but it’s probably only a matter of time.

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I put 1/2 in hardware cloth cages around my trees and shrubs in the fall. That works for me even in an excessive vole-explosion year. The only damage was on a couble of small shrubs with fairly wide cages the voles just came in over the top. I’m now pruning everything to at least a small trunk so I can put on smaller cages. The voles are natural part of our world here but with the cages I don’t worry about them.
The loccal preditors help. There’s a lot of discussion about other’s experiences on the site if you search for voles.

Young trees are mulched. But those in my nursery plot don’t have much mulch, or cages for that matter, and they come through just fine. Sue


I usually made cages using 1/2 inch metal mesh as tall a trunk allows. I do them about twice more in diameter than tree trunk. Then I take used bird netting(plastic one, the one that catches to everything ) and stuff it inside the top portion of the cage. Rodents hate the netting, as it catches them easily. I also put a band of it around the bottom outside of the cage and use four bricks around it to discourage digging under. So far, working.


Thanks for the responses. I’ll put something around them to protect against the rodents and won’t worry about the new growth. I put a couple inches of wood mulch around the roots.


I have trapped about 110 mice/voles from about 2 acres of orchard and fruit bushes this year so far. I wonder what percentage that is of the total that’s out there?