2018: The Year Squirrels Discovered our Pomegranate Tree

One could complain that this blog allots way too much space to two topics: tidying up and complaints about squirrels. At the risk of repetition, let’s discuss the squirrel issue this morning beginning with a year end review of our fruit harvest totals:

Fuji apples: 0
Winter banana apples: 0
Fuyu persimmons: 0
Hachiya persimmons: 0
Peaches: 0
Pomegranates: 6
Figs: 20?
Avocados: 20? but with a few bite marks

So not a total loss in the pom department but a long ways from my days of thinking that the hard skin of pomegranates are squirrel proof.

This is the point in my squirrel complaint blog post where I lazily link to UC Davis’ squirrel management notions. It’s also the paragraph in which I claim to have discovered a miracle squirrel cure in the form of a lame old man joke. Now you’ve got a bad case of earworm. Go ahead and suggest dogs and rifles in the comments and you’ll see us soon on a PETA billboard.

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  1. You will never hear me complain about your squirrel complaints. And, cleaning up is not a bad topic. Now, I am going to read how to reduce the squirrel population. Squirrels can chew through anything and squeeze through anything. I hate the furry little rats.

  2. Okay, I watched and listened to 3:32 min of Rick Astley, not an unpleasant experience, but where is the old man joke? Squirrels? None there.

  3. I was driving in the area of town where there are subsidized housing units and cheap rentals. Four or five Hispanics were sitting around a grill. Two of the men were attending to a squirrel nailed to a tree. They were in the process of skinning it, and I suppose they were going to cook it.

    When I was a child, Daddy would go squirrel hunting on our property, 10 acres, and expect us to eat squirrel, squirrel gravy, biscuits and greens.

    So, I thought I might help these guys with access to my squirrels so they could eat them. Maybe it would help families. I have not done this yet.

    • I was hoping the raccoon would die! I doubt it would live since it obviously had some sort of brain damage.

  4. If I had a blog, I would spend a lot of time complaining about squirrels and related fauna as well. When you have to “spend” water to produce fruit and then don’t get any of it, a Bill-Murray-in-Caddy-Shack type reaction is quite reasonable.

    For straight-trunked fruit trees, we use duct pipes like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Speedi-Products-12-in-x-60-in-30-Gauge-Galvanized-Round-Sheet-Metal-Pipe-SM-3060GR-12/202907167 . We cut them in half to get 2 tubes per pipe and snap them around the tree trunks. If a squirrel has already discovered the tree, we attach a skirt of hardware cloth around the base and cover with mulch to prevent digging under. If the trunk is too big/crooked for the pipe, we use aluminum flashing and small nuts and bolts to make a ring. Then we can move on and deal with the birds…

    Unfortunately, our pomegranates form a fenceline hedge and can’t be protected this way, but I think birds and rats have been a bigger problem there than squirrels.

  5. So sad about your lack of harvest.
    The squirrels don’t touch my dwarf Pink Lady apple, maybe it’s too tart for them? They did go for my Fuyu persimmon and I didn’t get to enjoy any fruits this year. It will give in abundance next year, so this year I’m going to prune it by 30% to make it a manageable tree and I will protect it with a tree cage next year. Although, when it gives heavy on the fruit I don’t need to protect it; there’s enough for the squirrels and my family. My 8′ peach tree had a tree cage and it saved my fruit from those pesky squirrels.

  6. I know a gal who uses a squirrel trap but she also had a neighbor to ‘finish’ the job. I would use a trap but I would not know what to do with a trap full of live squirrels.
    I did not harvest ANYTHING this year! They somehow have also discovered my fig tree this year, and the ravens have decided they like green olives. Thank goodness for Farmers’ Markets.

  7. I’ve had some success in dissuading the squirrels from digging in my beds by laying down a thick layer of crushed red pepper. Alas, unless I renew every few days, it stops being effective.

  8. My dad battles squirrels daily here in West Los Angeles. He’ll throw open the patio doors every morning and clap and shush at the squirrels invading his fruit trees, much to the embarassment of my mom (the neighbors are only 6 feet away after all). His solution is to save every single plastic clamshell and yogurt container and secure them around his precious guavas and persimmons and peaches. You can’t recycle most of those anyway (at least in Oregon, not sure about here). There was a time when our family dog was still around, she would faithfully keep squirrels away. At least off the ground. It was the only time she uttered a sound. Up in Portland my husband gets rid of squirrels the S.S.S. way, though we are happy to feed the resident Douglas squirrel, who to our surprise managed to chase off non native squirrels twice his size! Deep down we are all bleeding hearts though. I found two baby fox squirrels who had fallen out of a tree and an unbiased local rehabber took them in. She named them Maple and Alder after the streets they were found on (thankfully not after us, as she originally suggested. Way too many existential thoughts there). Sometimes I wish we had found a third, as just one more street over was Cornnutt, which is a more than appropriate handle for a squirrel.

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