I have a couple birch trees as decoration outside of my entryway, they are about 6 ft. tall and are not alive. They had fallen and I brought them home and potted them in some pebbles. This fall I noticed a larger branch broken off and missing, and next time I looked all of the branches seemed to have been snapped off about a foot or more! There is nothing lying around; do birds or squirrels do this in the fall? I wouldn’t think so; any thoughts?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Cindy in Minnesota: Well, I love that you saw the vision and brought them home and potted them up. Birch trees have great bark but to be perfectly honest I do not know what the culprit is. I suppose it could be a few different critters but something large enough to actually carry the branch away. If it was more like a twig then certainly a bird could have picked it up, but they typically build their nests in the spring. Chances are it was a squirrel since this is the time of year they build their nest. Keep in mind that dead wood is brittle and easily broken, so if something landed or climbed into the tree and it accidentally snapped off, then they obviously found it as an opportunity to use it as nesting material, then came back for more. Unfortunately for you, your decorative birch trees may not be so appealing anymore.