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Badgers destroying plum tree

I have what I believe is a badger problem in my garden.

Something is tearing branches off my young plum tree to get to the plums. The branches are reasonaby think (about half an inch), and the torn branches have mud and claw marks on them, so I can't imagine it could be anything other than a badger. I have lost half of the branches on the tree now.

I live in a mid-terrace, so there are only so many places a badger could gain access. I found a trench dug under the bottom fence in one corner, which was clearly their access point, and I placed a series of metal sheets along the trenches, tied securely to the fence and held in place additionally by rocks.

This has not been damaged, nor are their any new holes, yet I went into my garden this morning to find another branch hanging half off, covered in mud and claw marks. I have no idea where it is getting in. I can't be from the gardens either side, as the fence reaches the ground and there are no holes. The bottom fence leads to a back alley, which obviously has badgers coming and going (other gardens along it have holes under fences), but there are no other holes under my fence. 

The only thing I can think of is that they are squeezing through the fence. It is a metal bar fence, with gaps at their widest of about 4 inches. Could a badger sqeeze through that?


  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,248

    Young one certainly could. they are also very good climbers. All you can really do is to protect the tree. Encircle  it with wire netting or if your pocket runs to it try an electrified fence.

  • I highly doubt they could climb the bottom fence. The bars are vertical and slick, and the fence is 6 feet tall. If they might be getting through the gaps, though, my best bet would probably be too fill them. I've got a length of chain link fence, and some tough chicken wire. I'll try attaching that to the fence with wire along it's length. 

    The one thing that puzzles me, though, is that they are only going after the plums. There is an apple tree with some very low hanging fruit right near it, not to mention squashes and daikon radishes nearby, but none of those are being touched. I guess I should be thankful they're not eating and destroying everything. They are also digging up a mushroom bed I made, so I really would rather keep them out of the garden entirely if I can. It should be possible, since the garden is fully enclosed and the perimeter is not that large.

  • Look for strong tough black and grey hairs in the fencing etc.

    If they are climbing or squeezing through or over the fence etc they leave behind tell tale signs of hair.

    I say hair because badger fur is more hair like than fur like. Fur implies soft and pliable whereas badger fur is strong tough and more course hair like. Not sure that makes any sense!

    If you wanted to you could put down a bag of sand, spread a 25KG bag of soft sand over the area by the tree, lightly rack it over and see what footprints you are left with the following am.

  • Actually, I found footprints not long after I made that previous post. They were in the loose soil on the garden side of the metal sheets that I put up to block the previous hole. The barrier is undisturbed, so I can only assume the badger is climbing over it and squeezing through the fence (even though the gap in that section is only about 3 1/2 inches). I've attached chicken wire to the fence along it's full length, including above the previous barrier. Hopefully it will be enough this time, but at the very least if they do get in again it should give me a clearer picture of how they are getting in.

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