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Ask Extension: Will a rabbit-eaten evergreen tree recover this spring?

Rabbits  can do a lot of damage like the bark  eaten on winged Euonymous.
Q: I have a newly planted 6' Evergreen Tree, (dwarf tannenbaum). This winter the rabbits have had a field day eating the green needles, from the ground and up about 2'+. Can you give me any information on how I can get the tree back in shape come spring?

A: It is possible that the damage may be too severe to actually do anything about it. If they have eaten up 2 feet of it it may never be able to recover. 

About all you can do is protect it from any more damage by caging it with chicken wire or something to keep them away for now and see what it does in the spring. That is when pines will shoot growth only. 

Here is a link with info about pruning. Make sure that you open the links under "when to prune and evergreens."

Pruning trees and shrubs

Here is a link with a little more info about the pine.

Mugo Pine

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--Gail Hudson, Yard &Garden News Editor
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