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A Six-Year Record of Sugar Maple Bark Stripping by Gray Squirrels in a Minnesota Oak-Maple Stand

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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.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor of Wildlife Management, University of Minnesota, St. Paul

Publication date: 1963-07-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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