University of Florida

Home > Health and maintenance > Solve problems > Top of canopy dying > Dead from squirrels

Dead from squirrels

dead branch caused by squirrelsThe bark on certain trees is enjoyed by squirrels. This can cause small to moderately sized branches to die and then fall from the canopy. That is what happened in the two photos shown.

The closeup shows that the squirrels ate through the bark on the top of the branch, and then the tree responded to the injury by attempting to grow new wood over the injury. The branch became too heavy to be held up by the weakened wood so the branch broke and laid in the canopy dead.

A thunderstorm caused the dead branch to fall to the ground several months later. Sometimes branches damaged by squirrels crack and break while they are still alive with green foliage. Damage is typically on the top of the branch so it is difficult to see from the ground.

stripped branch caused by squirrels