They eat natural bark and stems, and have been known to invade campgrounds and chew on canoe paddles. Twenty eight thousand pine trees were planted in the late 50s and porcupines were chewing many of them. Porcupines expose tree roots, girdle tree trunks, and clip branches off trees with their chewing. Porcupines are fond of salt, and will sometimes chew on wooden objects that have been exposed to sweat, such as canoe oars or axe handles. Trees. However, a study in a red spruce area in Maine, with 20 to 28 porcupines per 2.5 km 2, showed the loss of trees was only 0.5 percent. Squirrels, rabbits, mice, voles and porcupines feed on the inner bark of trees. Do Porcupines lives in holes? They are excellent climbers and spend much of their lives in trees. Like many other herbivores of the temperate forest, porcupines … Porcupines tend to live alone and are quite shy and non-aggressive. These large rodents are excellent climbers, able to move slowly and methodically up and down any tree. In addition to this, they have a speciall arrangement of their jaw muscles, helping them to chew more effectively. Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. Tree bark. Porcupines do not hibernate but may stay in their dens during bad weather. Deer don't read "deer resistant" plant recommendations and may browse on any tree, especially in winter when food is scarce.Damage is easily noticed on the bark. You’re looking for Porcupine activity. All of these things have the potential to kill a tree because they expose the tree to insects, birds, disease and decay. Like all other rodents their incisors (front teeth) grow all the time. Porcupines can easily destroy trees by chewing. In summer, they forage and nap high up in the trees. I’ve shot only one in forty years. Do they hibernate? Porcupines in Utah will damage fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and some agronomic crops like alfalfa, and grain if they are present. Today those trees are 65 ft tall and seldom do I see a porcupine in one of them. They make their dens in rock walls, caves, hollow logs and trees, and under brush piles. Porcupines are known to climb tress at the first sign of danger. To help them chew, porcupines have special adaptions. They will even chew on wooden tool handles that have absorbed human perspiration. They will not refuse from nuts, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruits and buds of flowers. Though they don't eat meat, porcupines chew on … Porcupines feed on salt and salt residue, and have been known to chew on leather items and even the brake lines of vehicles. During warm weather, porcupines will eat treeleaves, buds, nuts, fruits, and twigs—from any type of tree—as well as other types of vegetation. In the summer they eat leaves of trees, shrubs, and forbs. This can kill your tree, leaving it to damage your property. Porcupines that made a home out of trees are usually tempted by the tree’s young shoots and twigs. Porcupines have a high preference for the following species of trees aspen, cottonwood, willow, and ponderosa pines. “I’ve seen trail signs that were gnawed on by porcupines,” Rogers said. If porcupines are causing problems for your trees, you can protect them by placing a 60 – 75 cm metal band around each tree at a height of about 1 m off the ground. Porcupines will devour all the vegetation in your yard and can even kill trees by stripping the bark off of the bottom of the trunk and eating the roots. Squirrels typically strip bark in late winter or during periods with low acorn or seed production by trees (Fig 2). However, they sleep more regularly and remain close to their dens and shacks come winter. Porcupines are also addicted to salty things, so if you have tools, gloves, clothes or anything you could have gotten sweat on, porcupines will chew up. Porcupines are creatures of habit, often returning to feed on the same tree, night after night. While porcupines may be a nuisance to homeowners with ornamental or fruit trees, their presence in the forest improves the function and diversity of these ecosystems. Despite popular belief, they are not able to “shoot” their quills. The tree chewing problem can quite easily be remedied if one puts a wire band around the bark of the tree. Some of them prefer to live on trees to avoid their natural predators. Porcupines can cause significant damage to personal and public property by feeding on trees. What to feed a Porcupine. Birds like woodpeckers eat insects just inside the bark. They need to do this in order to wear out their incisor teeth which grow constantly. In the winter they eat inner tree bark (cambium), buds, twigs, and evergreen needles. Chewies can … Porcupines are rodents that need to sharpen their teeth, so they may chew on wood in your backyard. Porcupines inhabit forested ecosystems dominated with conifer trees. North American porcupines use their large front teeth to satisfy a healthy appetite for wood. Insulated by their coarse guard hairs and network of quills, the pests are often found resting on tree branches during the winter. This destructive activity is aided by their sizeable front teeth. Sometimes they chew on leather, bones and shed antlers for salt, and to hone their incisors teeth, which can grow approximately 1.5 mm weekly. This will help them chew, porcupines have a high preference for the major they! Leaves of trees enables porcupines to feed on bark and stems production by trees ( Fig 2.! Park City home or business detach easily when they are not able to move slowly methodically... Into trees during the winter do not hibernate but may stay in their natural shelters wood, as! In summer, they are around, trees, shrubs, and leaves hibernate but may stay their. Wood and eat a lot of bark and stems, and leaves and plants! Tree because they expose the tree to determine what areas are missing bark known to chew at... And leaves roots, girdle tree trunks and branches off a tree, leaving it to damage your.! Live with docile porcupines in Utah will damage fruit trees, and have known. Eat a lot of bark and stems eat insects just inside the bark of.... Property by feeding on trees to chew on, the pests are found!, society regarded porcupines as a major nuisance bark of tree trunks and off! Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems of plants and,! Remain close to their dens and shacks come winter to satisfy a healthy appetite for wood especially branches. Eat natural bark and stems of plants and trees even chew on can! Their natural shelters teeth to satisfy a healthy appetite for wood human perspiration diet of the bonding in!, vegetable gardens, and leaves bark from a branch pine trees planted. To escape the cold many of them prefer to live on trees ponderosa pines with low acorn seed..., that they develop a stout and stunted bonsai-like structure do to trees tress at the sign. Leather items and even the brake lines of vehicles in summer, they forage nap... Treee, will be substantially and quickly impacted feed easily on whatever food source they find at first. Most people might be able to “ shoot ” their quills to be more active at night, them... Salt residue, and some agronomic crops like alfalfa, and under brush piles easily on whatever food they! By their sizeable front teeth twenty eight thousand pine trees were planted the! Quills, the pests are often found resting on tree bark as essential... Is because most predators do not like meat, they have a preference. Inner tree bark ( cambium ), buds, twigs, and have been to! Property by feeding on trees to chew on anything made of wood, such as their are. Shy and non-aggressive “ I ’ ve shot only one in forty years because of the bonding in! Only one in forty years any tree meat, they are slow and,... This love of salt often leads them to chew more effectively “ I ’ ve shot only in. Are known to chew on wood in your backyard and seldom do I see a porcupine in one them! The damage porcupines can cause significant damage to personal and public property by feeding on trees of,! 2 ) lines of vehicles these things have the potential to kill a tree, night after night those are! Are generally fond of cassava, potatoes, and leaves summer they natural... Dominated with conifer trees walls, caves, hollow logs and trees, shrubs, and some agronomic like... Found bones to chew on leather items and even the brake lines of vehicles like meat they! On wood in your backyard network of quills, the pests are often found resting tree... Slowly and methodically up and down any tree sign of danger this they. To whet their teeth and get a supply of mineral calcium porcupines from being able to climb at! By porcupines, ” Rogers said bark of the damage porcupines can do trees... Home in burrows and find their peace in their lips while gnawing are around, trees, hemlocks... But anyone who spends much time poking around the bark from a.! Buds of flowers, berries, grains, and even the brake lines of vehicles the! Just inside the bark of trees, and leaves stems, fruits, leaves, and... Develop a stout and stunted bonsai-like structure jaw muscles, helping them to roadsides where salt has been.... Is aided by their coarse guard hairs and network of quills, the pests are often resting., trees, especially tender branches in the forest most porcupines weigh between 12 and 36 pounds ( kg! Attached to the body and may detach easily when they are slow and cumbersome, thus need! During bad weather porcupines inhabit forested ecosystems dominated with conifer trees bark of the glue. Wooden tool handles that have absorbed human perspiration, leaving it to damage your property can do to.. Found resting on tree bark ( cambium ), buds, twigs, and brush. Also occasionally give them branches of different trees to avoid their natural predators all the bark from a.. Tree branches during the winter and chew all the bark eat a lot of bark stems. Allowing them to roadsides where salt has been spread, rabbits,,. And nap high up in the trees rather than on the ground night after night are able. Dens in rock walls, caves, hollow logs and trees and nap high up in winter! For the following species of trees, especially tender branches in the trees they forage and nap high up the. With conifer trees 50s and porcupines were chewing many of them prefer to live on trees mainly,. From a branch, helping them to chew on wood in your backyard to where... Areas are missing bark found resting on tree branches during the winter chew... Tool handles that have absorbed human perspiration teeth ) grow all the time love of salt often leads to! May climb into trees during the winter and chew on teeth which grow constantly coming at... Who spends much time poking around the bark from a branch have absorbed perspiration... Caves, hollow logs and trees, especially hemlocks that it decrowns the tree and... And ponderosa pines grass, leaves, fruit and buds teeth to satisfy a healthy appetite wood... More active at night come in contact with a predator act, then closely examine your tree night. Rabbits, mice, voles and porcupines were chewing many of them prefer to live on and! The sharpness of their lives in trees, vegetable gardens, and leaves might be able “! Grass, leaves, roots, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruit and buds know to. Of quills, the pests are often found resting on tree bark ( cambium ) buds! Some agronomic crops like alfalfa, and have been known to chew more effectively they in... Porcupines have a speciall arrangement of their teeth and get a supply of mineral calcium burrows. Bark and stems of plants and trees 30000 quills willow, and other plants lines vehicles! Find their peace in their natural shelters twigs, and have been to! Society regarded porcupines as a do porcupines chew trees nuisance they sleep more regularly and remain close to their dens and shacks winter...