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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Petersburg, IN
My bamboo plants have been in the ground since late April this year and for the most part they've been trouble free. That is, until now. Early on I had something trying to dig up my new plants the first month or so after planting. I attributed that to a racoon or something being curious and possibly smelling the fertilizer I used (old horse manure). I took care of that by filling the holes back in, adding more mulch on top, and eventually whatever it was stopped digging.

Now though, I have a whole new problem. As of this week, I went out to check on my bamboo and found something had eaten off any branches and many of the smaller, but full grown culms up to about a foot above the ground. I was especially worried about my Atrovaginata which only had 2 total culms and now one of those was bitten off about 4 inches above the ground. I assume it was rabbits so I staked out some cages out of 2" poultry mesh that I had and now 2 days later another smaller culm on my Spectabilis was bitten off and the lone surviving culm on the Atro has been de-limbed up to about 16" off the ground as well as having some new shallow gnaw marks on the outside of that one remaining culm.

Does this look like rabbit damage? I have definitely seen rabbits on the property before but I suppose it could also be squirrels. I have seen deer as well, but I would think deer would nibble higher up on the plant where there are more leaves.
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I plan to pick up some finer garden mesh tomorrow but I would have thought 2" mesh would have kept out most rabbits. There was no sign of anything digging under the mesh cages or climbing in over the top so I feel like whatever it was must have just slipped through.

I appreciate any advice anyone has.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:28 am
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
It certainly looks like rabbit damage. I use 2 foot poultry mesh, supported with three foot wooden grade stakes. I pin the base of the mesh into the ground with stiff wires. The 2 inch mesh always works for me, unless the culms are close enough to the mesh that the rabbits can push the mesh in a little and reach the bamboo. The primary species of rabbit around here is quite large.

If you are still having trouble, I would recommend using three foot tall poultry mesh, with one inch holes. I sometimes use this to help exclude squirrels as well. I strongly recommend using stakes that are tall enough to go to the top of the mesh. You can get fairly inexpensive metal fence posts at the big-box hardware stores.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
Rabbit damage looks like the ends of what's left were cut by pruners at an angle -- very sharp. I think that's what I'm seeing there, so I agree with Glen.

The 2" mesh won't keep out a young rabbit, as they're thinner than they look. :)

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Alan.
My blog: It's not work, it's gardening!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Petersburg, IN
Thanks for the tips. I picked up some 1" poultry mesh this weekend, but haven't had time to put it up. That'll be a project for this week. In the mean time, I also picked up some Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit repellent and treated all of my plants with it. I'm hoping between that and the smaller mesh I can keep the pests away. I agreed with your assessment of rabbit damage initially, but I've been looking around the pasture near the most damaged plant and found deer scat within 20 feet of it, which is making me think deer may be the culprit after all. I'm going to go ahead and hedge my bets with the tighter netting anyway, just in case I'm wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
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Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
My place in Brown County I noticed that the deer will snip off a branch or two and mostly leave it, I assume it is the new crop of deer checking things out. In winter they would wait until there were no other green plants and then pick one bamboo - usually a Sasa sp., and hit it hard.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
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Location: Petersburg, IN
needmore wrote:
My place in Brown County I noticed that the deer will snip off a branch or two and mostly leave it, I assume it is the new crop of deer checking things out. In winter they would wait until there were no other green plants and then pick one bamboo - usually a Sasa sp., and hit it hard.

Good to know. Sounds like I need to be sure and reinforce my bamboo protection before winter gets here.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:59 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Petersburg, IN
Looks like you all were right! Confirmation from my trailcam ovwer the weekend. Time to put up the 1" mesh.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:13 pm
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
Maybe the rabbit was just watching the deer eat the branches? :)

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Alan.
My blog: It's not work, it's gardening!


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