This poor looking Bradford Pear had its owners concerned. There was no apparent damage to the canopy and no recent digging or damage to the root system as the homeowner explained. However, the problem took only seconds to diagnose.
At the base of the tree there was a healthy and dense planting of low growing Juniper – a veritable 4 star hotel for our culprit. Where the stem met the ground the bark had been chewed off in a complete circle around the trunk from ground level up about 8 inches. The tree had been totally girdled and is now in rapid decline. The Juniper was a great home for whichever rodent decided to make the bark it’s next meal. Perhaps the most impressive part of the situation was that it appeared to be damage from an earlier year, implying that the tree may have had enough stored energy to survive a growing season with little to no upward nutrient flow – remarkable!