The first Magnolia tree here in my Georgia Gardens has been doing great this past year. Well, until now. Look what I woke up to this morning!
Limbs stripped from the center down on my beloved Little Gem!
My first thought was those darn squirrels. Upon closer examination, we do not think this damage is from a squirrel. The bark is too rubbed off the small trunk.
Odd scratches from the side of the trunk.
And this deep print in the dirt below, have us thinking on another course.We have heard that male deer will rub their antlers on trees during rutting season. And the fact that we spotted this 10 point Buck (male deer) in our woods soon after examining our tree, leads us to believe we have solved the mystery. OH DEER, MY POOR MAGNOLIA, In the Garden...
Note: I tried for a better pic of the Buck but he would not come out of the woods for a photo op. He was after a nearby Doe. Bet we have more babies next spring...
UPDATE: January 2017
In response to a new comment, I decided to add a little update to my original posting about the deer and Magnolia tree...
As you can see, the Magnolia tree is still with me today. Not only did the deer strip the lower limbs and scrap the bark of the tree, squirrels have been an issue as well. The deer used the tree as a marker for their sent by rubbing their antlers on it twice! And then squirrels started to climb the tree and eat the blooms while in their budding stage.
Since we enjoy the critters within our gardens, we try to live in harmony. So instead of Annie grabbing her gun and shooting the creatures on the earth, she instead tries to balance things a bit. I have found a way to keep the squirrels at bay with a stove pipe around the trunk. This worked well for the Crabapple tree and now it flourishes. I also squirt a bit of "Liquid Fence" in the area to ward off the deer.
As you can see, the limbs from the deer destruction back in Oct. 2012 never grew back. Hopefully in time the Magnolia Tree or Topiary as I now call it, will thrive. But for now, she just chugs along ever so slowly. It is never a dull moment in my Georgia Gardens with the wildlife.
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden