Cosmo's picture

Gnaw marks/scratches on tree (added via Android)

Observed: 1st June 2013 By: Cosmo
Photo 1

tree on river bank


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

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the naturalist man's picture


They are most likely tooth marks, human damage would not be so uniform and claw marks would not be such a uniform depth.

Another thought was, they being horizontal, that it could be a deer rubbing the velvet off its antlers, though the marks appear to be in groups of two or three so not convinced. Also they appear to extend very low, to ground level?

Judging by your hand they appear to extend around one metre up the tree, excluding most mammals except badger and squirrel; outside chance of hare. The problem is all these animals tend to gnaw more indiscriminately and do a lot more damage than these dainty nibblings.

I've never seen or heard of anything like this and am stumped to say definitively what did it.

If you go back again could yo measure how far up the marks extend and how far down they start. Also look for other signs, e.g.

If it were deer the ground would be trampled around the tree.

If it were badger there may be prints or well defined pathways around.

Squirrels may have left chewed cones or other signs around.

Graham Banwell

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Amadan's picture

Rabbit, perhaps?

They usually do a more thorough job, though.

Cosmo's picture

Wow, lots to think about, I

Wow, lots to think about, I will have to try and go back next weekend and get more details. Thank you for your response!

ben909's picture

I don't know what's done

I don't know what's done that, but I guess it's possible those marks may have 'grown' along with the tree. They may have been much smaller and thinner originally.