Rodents can live in many different places on your property, including beneath the roots of one of your trees. Rats and mice can chew through the roots of the tree until it no longer receives the nutrients and water it needs to survive. As a response and protective measure against the damage, the tree grows extra limbs called sucker plants. Although sucker plants may seem harmless to your tree, they can be just as dangerous as your rodent problem. Here's how sucker plants endanger the health of your tree and how you can stop them and the rodents to save it.
Why Do Rodents Infest Your Tree?
Like many other types of wild animals in the world, rats and mice can dig tunnels and holes in areas that have ample sources of water and shelter. The rodents create holes that range in sizes of 3-9 cm wide, depending on their body sizes and species. In most cases, the holes and tunnels lead to underground caverns beneath your home, shrubs and trees.
If you notice strange holes in the ground around your tree, it's a good chance that it has rodents living within its root system. Because the rodents don't usually live in the top of the tree, it may appear healthy. However, the lower portion of the tree can show signs of damage or weakness, such as peeling bark and the growth of sucker plants.
If you do see sucker plants around the bottom of the tree, it's critical that you take action now.
What Are Sucker Plants?
Some trees grow extra limbs and branches to protect themselves from stress and damage. Although this may be a good thing for the short-term survival of your tree, it may not be a good thing for the long-term life of the tree. Sucker plants grow by absorbing nutrients of the main tree. But since rodents already compromised the health of the tree by damaging its roots, even a small amount of nutrient loss can place the tree at risk for dying of disease in the future.
The best way to combat the issues at hand is to have a professional tree trimming company remove the sucker plants and treat the damaged roots immediately. You can trim the sucker plants yourself, but you might damage the tree even further. A contractor can devise a pruning plan that works specifically for the type of tree you have, as well as the tree's age and overall condition. Keep in mind that many trees can die if you prune them too much, in the wrong way or not at all.
It's also a good idea that you contact pest control to remove the rodents from your property and tree. Pest control can place traps around the tree and home that won't endanger the stability of your tree while it heals from the damage.
To find out more about saving your tree from sucker plants and rodents, contact a tree trimming service contractor such as Show Me Tree Service.