Most evergreens do recover from squirrel feeding, according to the Extension Foundation, a non-profit that works to link Extension offices and experts across the country.

Spruce trees have lateral buds on the branches behind where the tip was chewed, and these will sprout and grow.

In winter and early spring squirrels occasionally gnaw through the ends of spruce branches, causing the tips to fall to the ground. Sometimes the tips fall immediately and other times it takes a strong wind to knock them off the tree.

Squirrel feeding is a problem that is often difficult to diagnose on spruce trees. One clue is if numerous twig tips around 4- to 6-inches long will be found scattered on the ground around large trees.

These twigs may appear quite healthy when examined closely.

Often squirrels are found to be the cause since they will often chew twigs at the end of 2-year-old wood resulting in last year’s growth being cut off. The

large number that appear on the ground alarms homeowners, but the injury to the tree is not serious.

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