The Q&A Archives: Shade Tree/Moles

Question: I would like answers to 2 questions today. We live in NC and would like to plant a fast growing shade tree in the front yard...any suggestions? Also our back yard is started to get burrows which lookes like we may have a mole problem. We have small children and a dog and would like something safe to get rid of the moles.

Answer: Although there are lots of reported remedies for getting rid of gophers and moles, including plants and homemade concoctions, nothing really works except trapping the creatures. Gophers and moles feed on grubs and other insects in the soil. As long as you have healthy soil teaming with beneficial insects and their larvae, you'll have the potential for attracting gophers and moles. To get rid of them, invest in a scissors-type gopher trap, and set it carefully - as often as necessary to catch and kill the entire population. Once you've gotten rid of the gophers and moles, encourage your neighbors to do the same.

As for shade tree suggestions, consider the following:
Acer rubrum (Red Maple); has a rapid growth rate, symmetrical shape and grows 40-50' tall, 25-35' wide. 'October Glory' has scarlet foliage in the fall.

Acer saccharinum (Silver Maple), rapid growth rate, open upright habit, 60' by 50' wide.

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) rounded top, excellent shade tree because of its dense canopy.

Catalpa bignonoides (Southern Caltalpa), rapid growth rade, 30-50' tall 20-25' wide, exceptional shade tree with the bonus of spring flowers.

Hope one of these suggestions appeals to you!

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