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David Beaulieu

Rabbit Damage to Plants

By February 12, 2009

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What's cuter than a bunny? Bunnies are so widely adored that, if you were running for political office and inadvertently let something negative slip about bunnies, you'd immediately become an underdog. Nevertheless, gardeners know that rabbit damage to plants is a real concern, sometimes making rabbit control necessary.

I had heard of rabbit damage being done to Callicarpa (beautyberry) but had never experienced it myself -- until recently. The other day, I noticed rabbit tracks in the snow in my yard and decided to follow them. The rabbit had pretty much "made the rounds" to all of my shrubs, in a quest for something good to eat.

Besides my Callicarpa, my oakleaf hydrangea, arctic kiwi, witch hazel and redbud passed muster. The rabbit had chewed down all the stems of the Callicarpa to within 6 inches of the ground! In this case, though, the "rabbit damage" to my plants was inconsequential, since Callicarpa blooms on new wood. I was going to prune my Callicarpa down to within 6 inches of the ground anyhow, in spring, myself. So the rabbit just beat me to it! Still, it was a powerful reminder of the potential for rabbit damage to the plants in my yard.

Click the link to learn more about beautyberry: Callicarpa


February 14, 2009 at 4:44 am
(1) Shirley Bovshow "EdenMaker" says:

Hi David,
Your post reminds me of the wild bunnies I have around my yard. It’s funny to watch them “mow” my “no mow” lawn! They love to eat my creeping red fescue as well as the festuca. I wish they would lay off a little so I can enjoy some nice full tufts.
Oh well, they are cute.

February 14, 2009 at 8:17 am
(2) landscaping says:

Hi Shirley,

Thanks for posting. I don’t suffer much pest damage to my plants here, which is why the rabbit damage was worth noting. I’m not in a sufficiently rural setting to have groundhog problems. I’ve seen deer around, but they haven’t made it into my yard — yet.

April 20, 2009 at 10:54 am
(3) dave says:

David, Rabbit Scram really works..it has stopped the problem completely…

March 16, 2010 at 8:55 am
(4) Tina says:

We use the animal Stopper product line from Messina Wildlife Management. They have products designed specifically for deer, rabbit, groundhogs, etc…and its all organic and fresh smelling.

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