Date of this Version
There are many present orchard problems, most of them seasonal in nature, but few cause the serious losses that extensive vole injury does. Voles do their damage by feeding on the bark of the roots and at the crown of the trunk causing partial or complete girdling which weakens or kills the tree. Vole damage is feared because it means the loss of a tree or a group of trees as a maximum producing unit which takes several years to replace. Partially girdled trees may survive for years with low production. The lack of mouse control is often blamed on the lack of effective poisoning materials. It is also a reflection on the job done to protect the trees from mouse feeding. However, in recent years we have not had a variety of poisons to prevent the development of resistance or to insure a high kill of vole populations in the orchard.