Rabbits are so sweet, cute and lovable. Right? Everyone wants one to own as a pet since they’re so innocent and couldn’t hurt a fly if it tried. That’s only if you own them as domesticated pets. Not such the case with the monstrous wild rabbits who are on a survival mission to eat anything in sight that has nutritional value and to be food for the cute foxes. I’ll leave the foxes out of this story since they seem to be the guardians of the fig trees.
As you know, I love fig trees when they produce their sweet bounty of figs, though occasionally I come into hardships along the way just so that I can have a good harvest by the Fall season. I’ve spent years growing my trees and I’d hate to lose a tree that I spent years growing to reach a fruitful age. There are challenges to growing them in the Northeastern US in USDA zone 7a. With these challenges, I like to share my fig tree survival techniques so that you too can have the success as I have.
Rabbits Repair Tip of 2018
I’ve decided to revisit this topic of Rabbits attacking fruit trees.
In Rabbit Protection, I’ve gone over the topic of building a chicken wire fence around your fig tree to prevent rabbits from gnawing at the wood since the bark is so delicious to them. I also covered applying a 50/50 mix of latex paint with water. This seals the wood from loosing moisture, keeps fungus from growing, but it doesn’t give full protection of the wood from the harmful UV sun rays.
Rabbits have invaded my 2nd home in Connecticut. They attacked my fig tree there at full force. Many branches eaten away, stripped the bark off with a ferocious appetite. I caught this right away and temporarily wrapped the affected branches with aluminum foil. The next day, I placed poultry (chicken) wire fencing around the tree like in the image above. Since discovering that the above method of using the 50/50 mixture of paint didn’t actually make much of a difference in 2014 with my first experience with this matter, I temporarily left the aluminum foil in place. This was a double-edge sword since all sorts of mold fungus formed around the branches. However, the bare wood was protected from sun damage and remained moist.
I recently conducted some research on rabbit attacks on fruit trees in general and found a fantastic product that’s best suited for this type of rabbit assault. It’s called Doc Farwell’s Seal and Heal.
It’s green in nature, goes on thick and stretches with the bark as it grows back into place. The product itself doesn’t exactly say what the ingredients are, but my suspicion is that it’s latex-based
Why it’s green is a mystery and may contain growth hormones.
Materials you will need for your application of this product are a brush and a paint stick. It’s important to mix the sealant well with the paint stick. You can get one of these sticks for free if you venture off to your local Home Depot or other paint store.