Help a reader: squirrels eating apples

photo illustration of squirrels in apple tree
Photo illustration by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

I received this question from a reader:

Hello, we have two semi-dwarf apple trees in our yard. I think an entire colony of squirrels have been eating apples on the tree. Any ideas to stop them would be appreciated.

Kara Stimson
Olean

I haven’t experienced this problem, but maybe you have.

How did you deal with this problem? Any suggestions?

Please leave a comment below!

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Why I open some questions to readers

First of all, I’m not a gardening expert.

But we do have experts in Western New York who can give you advice if your plant isn’t growing well or if you don’t know the name of a plant or an insect. Get expert advice from the Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the staff at your local garden center.

But sometimes quirky questions come up. These are questions that readers might be able to address.

Sending a question to me to post can be helpful if you’re looking for a wide range of opinions and don’t mind waiting for the answer. If you want to try this route, email the question to me at connie@buffaloniagaragardening.com and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.

7 Comments on “Help a reader: squirrels eating apples

  1. Thanks for the reminder to vote for adding the clean water and air and healthful environment proposition to the New York State Bill off Rights on voting day. Everyone should vote yes! It is imperative that people become aware of the dangers that chemicals and gases can do to our planet, its people, plants and animals. Not only now, but for generations to come. Politics stink! Even that democratic senator, who will not vote for the climate change bill, happens to be an extremely wealthy infester in carbon producing fuels. Is his non-vote for we, the people, or his pocketbook?!!! China and the USA must get pollution under control.

  2. I used cayenne pepper before to keep rabbits away from my plants … I’m guessing it’ll keep squirrels away too. Birds do not have taste buds, so the pepper and chili powder do not affect them.

  3. Like a lot of plants that get targeted for apparent mischief vs sustenance, mixing up garlic and soapy neem water into a spray seems like a place to start. Hopefully, you can wash the bad taste back off at Apple harvest. Squirrels went after my tomatoes for the first time in 25 years this fall, and the spray stopped them from taking a bite of each one.

  4. Send those squirrels over to my black walnut tree! Seriously, are they destroying all the apples? Eating a bite of every one. Like deer, who can eat every hosta flower and leaf. I used to be frustrated by this as well. But, I try to look at them as creatures who are native here. I ask myself were you going to use all of them? Are they damaging the tree? Are they causing other problems? They are kind of cute and fun to watch, (except when they hanging from my birdfeeder), so, can we live together? It is a struggle.

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