The Q&A Archives: Trees and moles

Question: I need info on taking care of a Sango Kaku Jap. Maple.
How do I get rid of moles?

Answer: The Japanese maples prefer an evenly moist yet well drained soil (meaning damp like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet or saturated) that is acidic, humusy and organic. They need a layer of organic mulch about two to three inches thick year round over their root area. Their preferred planting site would be in bright dappled light all day or morning sun. They also need protection from winter wind. Avoid digging around their roots as they are shallow rooted. They are generally quite low maintenance once those conditions are supplied.

First off you need to determine if you have moles or voles. Voles will eat plant roots, moles do not. Both seem to have cyclical population explosions. Moles are usually tolerated unless they are causing dangerouos walking conditions at which point they can be trapped. (The home made remedies or mole repellers and killers such as chewing gum and whirligigs are not effective.) Voles are usually controlled by their natural predators such as foxes, snakes and birds of prey, however if they are at a high point they too can be trapped. If you are having a serious infestation you might want ot consult with your county extension as to how best to go about controlling them in your particular situation.

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