Foiling the rabbits

apple and pear tree trunks chewed by rabbits
dwarf apple tree with rabbit damage
The dwarf espaliered apple tree that got the most damage.

Last March there was a good amount of snow on the ground and it was very cold. It was a long winter – especially temperature-wise.

The bunnies living in the neighborhood (I’d swear they are living under my deck) were obviously hungry. The snow was too deep to forage at their level, so they climbed the snow piles and fed on whatever they could find. In my garden it was the espaliered fruit trees.

I was not a happy bunny.

They did a god job of almost girdling two dwarf apple trees, one dwarf pear tree and one columnar apple tree (lead photo). The bastards.

dwarf espalier apple tree wrapped in foil
Hopefully the foil will foil the fuzzy bunny’s plans.

Short of posting hasenpfeffer recipes at rabbit-eye-levels around the garden, I wasn’t sure what I could do to protect my favorite trees.

Not sure where I’d seen it or if I’d read about it before, I decided to wrap foil around the tree trunks where they were chewed last year. I think my grandad did this back when I was a kid.

It was either wrap the trees in foil, or wrap the rabbits (and cook at 425º for 45 minutes, uncover and bake for 15 minutes more).

The trees survived last year’s bunny massacre, but I was seriously worried for the one tree that had the most damage.

I’m sure I could easily go down the rabbit hole of rabbit deterrent methods – trapping, poisons, smelly sprays, ultrasonic devices, or getting a dog. Is there anything you do to rid yourselves of these miniature hellhounds in the form of snugly bunnies?

dwarf espaliered apple tree wwrapped in foil
Cheap, quick, AND easy. The rabbits may just eat around the foil.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

3 comments on “Foiling the rabbits

  1. Sorry about the damage. If not a dog, which comes with its own set of problems, then Liquid Fence and other smelly options might be worth it (the smell only lasts a day).
    My rabbits don’t eat the azaleas, hosta or ferns in my shady garden, but they do go after … the weeds in my lawn! They love plantain, clover and such. I would buy some kind of reward for those furries, except that they seem happy doing their thing. Now, if you have a solution to deer, besides a dog or 8 ft. fence (neither of which I have) then THAT would be interesting.
    Again, sorry that our entertaining helper is your dark destroyer …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah! I had thought my perps were Buffalo River beavers but seeing the damage to your fruit trees, I’m now thinking I also have a hungry rabbit problem. I have my trees caged to deter beavers now, but my set-up will not keep a rabbit out. Thanks for posting this, Jim.


  3. Marcia

    Any suggestions about protecting the beginning growth of bulbs (except daffodils) which rabbits love? We’ve used small baskets turned over but the daily routine gets old if there are a lot of bulbs.


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