E-DEMOCRACY | Wildlife marauders in St. Paul

Photo by Nina Stawski, Some rights reserved, published under Creative Commons license.

Gail O'Hare posted at 7:00pm, Jun 28:

Over the past two nights, lilies along the side of our house have been savaged by something. What's going on? This has NEVER happened before, and those treasured lilies have bloomed there for at least 15 years. Neither rabbits nor deer ever touched them. There does seem to be a multitude of aggressive chipmunks (a contradiction in terms? uh-uh) that actually climbed tulips to bite off the flowers earlier this spring. But whatever is doing this makes the first bite about a foot off the ground and then munches leaves and buds clean off the fallen stalks.

I'm desolate. I don't know where I got those lilies, but they were gorgeous and I've never seen them in any catalogue. Shorn of leaves, the remaining stalks won't be able to feed the bulbs. I've heard of raccoons in years past, though we've never see any. After the first night's assault we put down lots of smelly stuff to protect what remained, but it didn't dissuade whatever (whoever? zombies?) from finishing them off.

Any insight or advice will be appreciated. I have a few more lilies in a different unfenced area and I want to save them.

Gail O'Hare
Highland Pkwy.

Janet Llerandi posted at 9:57pm, Jun 28:

This has been the worst year ever for damage by wildlife for me at least. The squirrels ripped the bark off my huge arborvitae, and just this morning I noticed that something broke off my hollyhocks and they were just starting to bloom. Something ate the bottom two feet of my pine tree. I guess the animals had a really tough winter too. It's discouraging. I planted brussels sprouts and the next day they were gone, not a trace.

Janet Llerandi

Cindy Kerr posted at 12:38pm, Jun 29:

I'm not sure what ate your lilies, but squirrels eat my tulips every year. They just eat the flowers and leave the stalks right before they bloom & have for years. I thought it was bunnies until I caught a squirrel in the act. I drive through my neighborhood and see all the other beautiful tulips go untouched. I've tried everything on mine and have since given up on having any tulips that actually bloom in my yard. I don't have any lilies so not sure if they would do the same to them. I do have hostas and they are left untouched.


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I would think your lilies will survive. Rabbits love them. Day lily roots are edible by the way, they are considered a vegetable in Chinese cooking! So maybe the other ones taste good too. I have noticed that the rabbits love to eat off the new young leaves of the tiger lilies (is that what they are called? That's what my mom called them. Asiatic lilies?) However, now that your rabbits know where they are, you will have to put a fence around them, sorry! My Asiatic lilies get tall (6 ft) so I just put a rabbit fence around them until they are tall enough where a few leaves bitten off the bottom don't matter. The fence is the 1/4" wire type that you can get in a roll.  You don't need to even install it, just unroll it a bit and put it around the lilies for a while. Rabbits can't get through much. I don't use chemicals in my yard and the wildlife is always burgeoning. Tulips etc never work, gave up long ago. I keep containers from floral containers, and have started planting the veggies in those. Otherwise I don't even get a scrap of kale, I just feed the bunnies all summer!