Holes in Ground – Squirrels, Not Voles

Q: I have an evergreen clematis plant on a fence and saw three holes around the base. I think it is probably voles. What are your thoughts?

A: I think these are more likely holes made by squirrels. Vole tunnels are not really underground; they are more pathways on the soil surface, hidden by vegetation like tall grass or ground cover plants. When voles do tunnel, it’s next to the trunk of a plant as they try to get down to the root system to feed.

Keep an eye on the base of your camellias, roses, fruit trees, and flowering cherries. This is the time of year when voles feed actively on these plants.