It’s getting colder here in Anchorage, and the snow is working it’s way down the mountains. This is the time of year when more moose start coming into Anchorage looking for food. What is their favorite winter food? Your ornamental trees. Moose LOVE to eat
your apple trees, crab apple trees, mountain ash, cherry trees, and pretty much anything else you’ve planted. Even if they don’t like it (lilacs and chokecherry trees are not usually moose favorites), they tend to taste it and will often break young trees.
How do you prevent moose from destroying hundreds of dollars worth of trees? Wrap your trees. The most commonly used materials are wire and burlap, although I’ve seen the orange plastic fencing around a lot of Anchorage trees. Make sure you keep them wrapped all winter, even if they are in a fenced yard. In deep snow years, moose can easily step over your 5 foot fence. I’ve also heard of cases where a gate was accidentally left open overnight, and a moose got in and destroyed all the trees in the yard!
Another thing that most people don’t think about is that moose will dig under the snow to eat whatever they can find in your garden. There have been many years that my parents’ strawberry patch has been completely destroyed by hungry moose in the winter. Burlap over any perennial plants can help prevent moose damage.