Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

March 1977


Published in Proceedings of the First Eastern Pine and Meadow Vole Symposium, Winchester, WV, March 10-11, 1977, Ross E. Byers, editor. Copyright © 1977 Gramlich.


Maine orchards produce quality apples--prihllirily }illcIntosh, Cortland, red and golden delicious. We have about 400,000 trees on 7,000 acres. Our production is still in standard trees that are widely spaced, although aL~ost all newer plantings are going to dwarfing stocks. The average orchard is quite small--between 50 and 100 acres. There are several over 200 acres. The largest is 700 acres and is in a class by itself. Most Maine orchards are relatively old and in heavy sod, consequently have have heavy grass and weed cover. Fall meadow mouse populations of more than 200 per acre have been recorded in some Baine orchards. About 70% of the orchardists employ herbicides for grass control. All orchards have problems with meadow voles and bait at least in trouble spots. Mouse guards, wire or plastic, are universally needed in young trees. With continuous snow cover of 1 to 4 feet for a period of 3-4t months, conditions favor at least minor damage annually. Partial girdling or patch damage in voids in guards and hanging limbs is common. Complete girdling above and below guards happens occasionally.