The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

United Kingdom Gb

I have ten two year old hawthorne shrubs in my back garden in a row distanced approx 3.5 feet apart, they have been growing really well until recently. I have noticed all the leaves have gone crispy and dead and on closer inspection i have found that the base of the (trunk) has been stripped of the bark - it looks as though someone has attacked them with a small penknife! from about 2-3 inches up to the base in a downwards motion. there do not appear to be gnawwing marks it really does appear as though a knife has been used - any ideas? my back garden is enclosed so only my neighbours could possibly have access to it.



Are you saying they have all been ring barked? has each one been cut all the way round at the base? if it were pest damage ie rabbits you would see signs of gnawring, has their been any difficulties with your neighbours, any disputes over this hedge? believe me i could tell you some storys about neighbours and garden sabotage, the most common being poisoning, and in the past creosote painted onto the foliage of conifers etc.

8 Apr, 2011


Has anyone been using a strimmer to cut the grass around the trees? The line or blade could cause ringbarking.

9 Apr, 2011


And rabbit and rodent damage can still look very much like the work of a pen knife--those front teeth are incredibly sharp!

9 Apr, 2011


Thank you everyone for helping me - i had never heard of ringbarking! I Googled ringbarking images and it's not quite the same - i don't get on with one of my neighbours but my shrubs were not on our joint fence so i can't see them sabotaging me (i hope). Anyway whilst looking on Google i noticed that bank/field voles kept popping up and it seems to make sense to me that's what it is - only problem now is how to get rid of them - need a cat but have 3 dogs! No strimmer used at that end of the garden as there is no grass there. Once again, thank you all for your help, i think the mystery is solved if not the problem :o)

9 Apr, 2011


I can tell you how to discourage field voles from bitter experience, ads they killed a 12 foot cotoneaster by eating so far through the base of the trunk that it fell over, and then they started on another shrub. I tried bandaging the gnawed area - no good. I put used cat litter round it, but no good. So I sprinkled hot chilli pepper round it and have had no more trouble anywhere. You can get large bags from Asian shops, if you have any within reach, which is cheaper than little supermarket packets.

9 Apr, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?