How to Protect Pecan Trees From Squirrels

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Squirrels can destroy pecan trees in a matter of days.
Squirrels can destroy pecan trees in a matter of days. (Image: dead tree and winter tree image by Kevin Eaves from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Pecan trees have the ability to offer people a viable income as long as they’re well cared for and protected from outdoor pests, like squirrels. According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, squirrels are considered the main mammal pests of pecans. Learning how to properly protect your trees from curious, hungry squirrels is a must if you want your pecans to stay in the best selling and eating condition possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Live trap
  • Peanuts/peanut butter and bread
  • Squirrel repellent
  • Sheet metal/tin
  • Nails
  • Wiring
  • Trimmers

Catch and remove the squirrels with live traps. These are humane devices that catch animals alive and uninjured. You can purchase live traps at hardware stores.

Bait the traps and place them in areas where squirrels are most active. The Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service recommends baiting the trap with peanuts or peanut butter on bread, then setting the traps directly in the squirrels’ travel lane to ensure success.

Check the traps often, especially when the squirrels in your area tend to be the busiest in their search for food. Most squirrels are diurnal (active during the day) but some may be crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk).

Release the captured squirrels at least a mile from your property to prevent the critters from returning and destroying your pecan trees.

Spray a proven squirrel repellent, like predator urine, around your pecan trees to keep squirrels at bay. Re-spray the repellent on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the severity of your case, and after every rain to ensure lasting success.

Wrap a large piece of sheet metal or tin, approximately 2 to 3 feet in height, around your pecan trees' trunks and secure it in place with nails or strong wiring. Sheet metal or tin is smooth and slippery and will prevent squirrels from climbing into the trees.

Keep your pecan tree branches trimmed to prevent them from connecting to other trees or objects that squirrels may use to climb or jump into the pecan trees.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove all objects from around your pecan trees, like abandoned cars and wood, to prevent squirrels from gaining easy access to the trees.
  • Spraying an excessive amount of predator urine around your pecan trees could affect the trees' health, so use the repellent sparingly.

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