Each winter I burn last fall’s brush and this winter’s fruit tree prunings in the yard. Inevitably, there is collateral damage on the mice population. However, they aren’t mice, but really voles. Voles are mouse-like animals that eat only plants (i.e. roots, stems of small trees, etc.) You will notice them by their runways near the ground surface in lawns. They use these to access food safely under cover from raptors and mammals. They can cause extensive damage to orchards and newly planted trees by eating or girdling the inner bark, especially if weeds or tall grass is present as cover. Voles are often confused with moles. Moles spend their time eating only meat (i.e. insects, worms, grubs) and burrow more extensively. They can be identified by large mounds in yards.

May the Forest Be with You,



Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association