Impact of Microtus arvalis and Lepus europaeus on apple trees by trunk bark gnawing

https://doi.org/10.17221/64/2018-PPSCitation:Suchomel J., Šipoš J., Čepelka L., Heroldová M. (2019): Impact of Microtus arvalis and Lepus europaeus on apple trees by trunk bark gnawing. Plant Protect. Sci., 55: 142-147.
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A unique evaluation of the apple tree trunk bark damage caused by common vole and European hare was presented. Damage was found in an apple orchard under organic farming, in Central Moravia (Czech Republic), at 700 m a.s.l. There were two cultivated apple cultivars Red Spring and Melodie/Angold. Damage occurred in winter with the snow cover lasting from December to February. In total 1 012 trees and 95.7% of trees were damaged. The cv. Red Spring was damaged more than cv. Melodie/Angold. Almost 90% of the dead trees were killed by common voles. While hares damaged both cultivars equally, voles damaged the cv. Red Spring to a significantly greater extent (P = 0.04). The study confirms the need of further research on the development of methodologies for orchard protection from damage caused by small mammals.

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