A Possum Sized Tree Problem in Brisbane and Beyond.

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Trees and Possums

There is no denying that possums are cute to look at however they are also considered destructive pests.  These native Australian Marsupials live in various habitats but are often to be found living in tree hollows, rainforests, Eucalypt wood or wooded garden areas.  If they cannot find a suitable tree dwelling they will also live in sheds, garages, roof spaces and even chimneys.  As folivores (herbivores who eat leaves) they prefer to eat eucalyptus leaves, flowers, buds, fruit and ferns. They are also able to tolerate many plant toxins that other animals find poisonous.

 

The Nemesis of Arborists and Gardeners Everywhere

Unfortunately, possums also like to eat new leaves, shoots and buds growing on trees which naturally has a detrimental effect on the tree’s health.  As nocturnal creatures they feed between dusk and dawn, homeowners are likely to wake up to find their prize roses or mature Mango tree decimated by hungry possums.  There are a number of methods that can be attempted to protect important vegetation from possums however, some methods are more successful than others.   Possums are very inventive when it comes to overcoming obstacles in their way and therefore it is tricky to solve the problem.

possum eating plants

Methods

One successful method that can be used to protect trees from possums is to place a band of plastic around the base of the tree trunk so that the possum is unable to climb up the trunk in order to eat the leaves.  This will only work if the tree is standing alone and at a distance form other trees, buildings or anything else they can climb up and jump from.

Possum Repellent:

There are various sprays and repellents that can be bought from hardware shops but they are not reported to be particularly successful in deterring possums.

Plant Less Palatable Trees, Shrubs:

If you wish to keep possums out of your garden and away from your trees, it is a sensible idea to plant trees and shrubs that they find much less palatable to eat.  They do not like spiky trees and plants such as Acacias, Bougainvillea, spiny grevilleas, hakeas, woody banksias, or strong- smelling plants and flowers such as chrysanthemums, mint bushes, geraniums and daisies.

 

 

Install Light Sensors:

Possums do not like bright lights so installing lights with sensors close to the trees you wish to protect may help.  This would work best in rural settings where neighbours will not be impacted by bright lights shining through their window.

Use an Ultrasonic Sound Wave Device:

These devices are available to buy at local hardware stores and emit a high pitched sound that possums do not like.  However,  the noise may also upset pets and deter other welcome animals from your garden.  The effect may only last for a short time before the possums get used to the noise and continue to eat.

Relocation:

The problem with relocating possums is that once you have removed one then another very quickly moves into the territory to take its place.

Other Methods:

There are plenty of other methods that have been tried and have little success rate, from hanging shiny objects, bones, placing pretend cats/ owls in trees to spraying male possum urine to mark the territory.

 

 

 

 

For all your Tree Care needs, call Heritage Tree Care on 0737155444 or email sales@heritagetreecare.com.au for a free, no-obligation quote, our qualified Arborists will be delighted to advise you on the best course of action for your trees.  We cover Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Redlands and Gold Coast area in Queensland, Australia.