squirrel damage (red)

When the red squirrel population is high, bark is peeled back in narrow strips with the incisors to get to the sappy tissues of the inner bark. The strips either fall or are left in coils on the stem. The main stems of young Scots pine are most susceptible but other conifers, as well as some broadleafs, can also be damaged. The tree may be girdled, or the wound increases the risk of breakage by wind or creates a timber defect. Damage to the centre leader may result in distortion of the main stem in juvenile trees.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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