Meadow vole or field mouse
Trunk, Root collar
Damage, symptoms and biology
The meadow vole, or field mouse, is a small, widely distributed rodent mammal. This mammal builds a grass nest in late fall in which to dwell during the winter; they feed on the bark of small trees, from the base of the tree to the top of the snow layer. If the bark around the entire circumference of the stem or trunk gets eaten, the part of the tree above the wound will die. The symptoms may resemble those of a summer drought. A decrease in leaf surface area, yellowing, then browning and leaf drop can be observed. Bud destruction and abortion is another frequent symptom.
In the spring, little travel ways can be seen where the grass has been eaten to ground level around trees. In some spots, piles of dead grass can be noticed; these served as the voles' nests during the winter. The trees in our gardens can be protected by removing the grass clippings before the winter and placing metal mesh around the base of young trees.
Canadian Forest Service Publications
Information on host(s)
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