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i lost 3 trees in the last month to mice. they get into the tubes and build nests. i have about 5 trees lft. if i tabe the tubes off, the deer will get them. i pulled the tubes up about 6 inches off the ground on the remaining trees. buying cages right now is not in my budget. any suggestions. anybody got any black snakes, owls or small hawks they want to donate?
 

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Now that you have your tubes off the ground a few inches make sure that you keep all weeds and grasses cleared around the vicinity of your tree bases. Keep vegetation cut low to the ground out to a 2 foot radius. Mice and other pesky vermin prefer not to come out in the open. If you're already doing this, then I don't know what to tell ya.

Losing trees sure can be frustrating.
 

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Lifting the tubes off the ground may kill them, from what I understand.
 

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You have to spray roundup around the trees. Like SterlingRunSlink said, the mice will stay away.
I have a deer fence, a smaller fence for small rabbits, and even a 3rd, 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch fence. Plus, no grass inside the main fence.

Here is one right after I planted it in April.



Here is that apple tree last weekend. (A little different camera angle.)
 

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when we did all out tree plantings for CREP we sank the tubes in the ground about 3 inches. That way they couldn't get under them, and they were too slippy for them to climb up. Then, as others haved mentioned, we sprayed a 3 foot circle around the tree with glyphosate to kill all the grass. Seemed to work prettty good
 

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Slink and Pa-Guy have it right. If the entire feld is mowed short, it usually eliminates the problem. Bait stations with warfarin laden baits have also been known to work (not sure if legal in PA)
 
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