A Six-Year Record of Sugar Maple Bark Stripping by Gray Squirrels in a Minnesota Oak-Maple Stand
Abstract:Sugar maple bark stripping by gray squirrels in mixed oak-maple stands on the St. John's University Forest in central Minnesota was studied from 1955 to 1961. In two of the winters covered, 18.7 and 14.2 percent of the sugar maples larger than 1.5 inches in d.b.h. had some bark stripped. Most of the wounds were in the upper third of the tree height, and branch wounds seldom affected more than 25 percent of the leaf bearing branches. Stem wounds were usually less than one foot long, and the proportion of injured trees with complete stem girdles varied from 15 percent in 1955-1956 to 3 percent in 1957-1958. No direct relationship was evident between squirrel population density, as indicated by leaf nest counts, and bark stripping frequency. Bark stripping was only observed when acorns were available for squirrel consumption but no bark stripping was noted in one year when acorns were abundant. Available acorns may be necessary but not sufficient for maple bark stripping by gray squirrels.
Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Associate Professor of Wildlife Management, University of Minnesota, St. Paul
Publication date: 1963-07-01
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