Rabbit problem/Joliet Illinois
  Re: (0...)
Does anyone have any suggestions about how to deal with a rabbit infestation? I noticed that I have rabbit poo all over my yard and they have managed to eat the new bud growths off of some of my shrubs. They have also stripped off some of the bark as well. I think I might lose some of my rose bushes and maybe a dwarf korean lilac or two. I welcome any suggestions or sympathy. Thanks!!
  Re: Rabbit problem/Joliet Illinois by Susan_D (Does anyone have any...)
Gosh...the only thing I can think of, is that perhaps the primary reason they are munching on your plants is maybe for moisture?? Maybe if you tried setting out small dishs or pie pans with some water...they hopefully will use that before snacking on new buds. Not sure how you can relocate the bunny population on a more permanent basis though....good luck!
  Re: Re: Rabbit problem/Joliet Illinois by wildangel (Gosh...the only thin...)
It's been a hard winter for our fuzzy friends in the Upper Midwest. There's so much snow on the ground, it's hard for them to reach most of their normal browse, so the trees and shrubs are getting hit a lot harder this year than most. The deer here are so desperate, they've figured out how to dump my bird feeder to get the few mouthfuls of sunflower seeds it holds inside!

There's probably not much you can do for your shrubs right now, unless you want to try to dig them out & cover them with burlap. There may be some sprays that could give temporary relief too. But the snow should start melting off over the next 2-3 weeks, and the critters will be able to go back to their normal food sources then.

If you want to protect the shrubs next year, you can put a few stakes in the ground around each plant and surround them with chicken wire. Make sure it's stapled securely to the ground, so they can't dig under, and that it goes up higher than they can jump after you've got your first foot of snow on the ground. If deer are a problem, then cover the tops of the cages with chicken wire too.

Also, if you have a dog, or can borrow a friend's, walk it around the the bushes you want to protect on a regular basis. No matter what size the dog is, it will leave its scent behind in the area, and that predator odor is what the critters will smell and try to avoid.

Don't worry too much yet about your roses and lilacs. As long as they're both on their "own roots" rather than grafted, even if some of the tops die back, the roots will still send up new shoots the same as the old ones. If the rose, in particular, was grafted onto some other rose variety's roots, you'll still have rose shoots coming up, although they won't be the same variety as they were before. And trees and shrubs can survive with quite a bit of bark damage too. I have an apple tree that was girdled about halfway around a few years ago, and it not only survived, but it also produced more apples than my other trees last year, to boot!
The great thing about gardening is that you always get a chance to start over!
  Re: Re: Rabbit problem/Joliet Illinois by IntrepidMeredith (It's been a hard win...)
One benefit is that the rabbit poo is a good fertilizer. To keep these buggers from munching on your plants, they will eat about anything, you need to fence the wee buggers out. One of the reasons most all of my planting beds are fenced is to keep out these buggers as well as the turkeys and deer. You do need a fence fabric with a tight enough weave to halt them, and as Merideth stated, tight to the ground to keep the rabbits from digging under.
West Central Michigan along the lake shore.

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