Friday, 11 February 2011

grey squirrels

Now is the the time of the year when everyone who loves their woods and trees; 'stiffens the sinews, summons up the blood and lends the eye a terrible aspect'  (Henry V before Harfleur) and goes out to kill grey squirrels.  The grey squirrel is the principal enemy of  foresters having an appalling habit of stripping the bark from young trees in the early summer when the sap is rising which leads to, what would in time (hundred years or so ) have become truly great and noble forest trees instead developing  into stunted, disfigured, ugly stumps.  There is truly nothing more dispiriting to anyone who loves trees than to see a wood they planted fifteen or twenty years earlier, and is finally taking on the characteristics of a wood rather than a plantation, suddenly, in a matter of days, wrecked by an attack of grey squirrels.   What puzzles me though is that when I was in America in New England I walked through their woods and saw no squirrels and no sign of damage to any of their hardwoods.  Plant American Black Walnut or Red Oak or Sugar Maple over here though, as I have, and you will very soon rue your decision as the grey squirrel will attack them with enthusiasm.  So if you love trees and woods kill grey squirrels, by trap, by poisoned bait, or with gun it matters not a jot as long as they are killed.    


  1. Im lucky to have Farmers in this area who are of the same opinion re. these little grey horrors and they polish them off as soon as they appear, the little horrors also pee everywhere and this waste (i am informed) carries Leptospirosis which is not very desireable as i have Dogs, however these same grey disease carrying, tree murdering, birds egg stealers are served up as some sort of delicacy in the posher restaurants in Ludlow!, all the more reason to stay home and have Bubble & Squeak.

  2. Get youself a Weimaraner and let him do his thing. We have one who is a great squirril hunter. Cares nothing about the ducks or geese around our lake but gives the squirrils a fit.

    I used to have a trap, havahart brand and would catch them and take them across to the other side of the lake. Too many of then learned to swim back so the dog has solved the problem.

  3. Gah! Invasive non-native species, I feel your pain. Trade you the grey squirrels for the starlings we have over here.