Q: I have an old budding and flowering tree in south Georgia that is being severely “twigged back” by gray squirrels. On any given morning or evening there may be as many as 10 squirrels who are cutting the twigs to eat the buds and flowers. I would say that they have cut off more than half of the twigs. My concern is that this damage might result in the death of the tree.
A: Wow! I can’t say I’ve ever heard of ten squirrels attacking one tree. It looks like a maple to me. I don’t think that the squirrels “pruning” will kill the tree, but it can certainly stress it and cause some strange looking new growth in the spring.
My only suggestion is that you live-trap the squirrels and relocate them a couple of miles away. Surely they will find wild trees to gnaw on other than yours.