Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm a tree wrapper


You heard me.
I wrap trees.

You've heard of tree huggers, right? They're big here in Oregon.
We, Oregonians, love our trees. Many Oregonians will go to great lengths to protect them, too...some at any cost.

It's a fact that one of the loveliest things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that we have so many great, big, beautiful evergreens - forests filled with magnificent trees, many of them old-growth, never before logged trees.

Well, being the native Oregonian that I am, I love trees, too. It's no surprise to me that we wound up on a piece of property with a lot of them:

And, apparently, mine now need some protecting, too.

Here's one kind of tree wrapper:

And here's another:

but neither of these is what I'm talking about.

The primary pasture where my foster donkeys spend their days has a lot of trees:

I use the term "pasture" loosely. It is an approximately 3-acre fenced area filled with many, many Douglas Fir trees, a few Madrone trees, and quite a few Maple trees:

Then there are all those other things that tend to grow on a forest floor: ferns, wildflowers, Solomon Seal, Oregon Grape. However, a bunch o' really cute donkeys came through...:

...and those things aren't really on the ground anymore. But we've still got trees. At least for now we do.

Did you know that donkeys like to eat stumps?:

They chew them down until there isn't much left:

There are a lot of tree stumps in their pasture and they've spent hours chewing and rubbing, sniffing and biting these:

They also eat bark:

Now, this wouldn't be a bad thing if said behavior was limited to the stumps. Unfortunately, they have extended this activity to the living trees, as well.

On the morning I noticed this:

had been done to this:

...I quickly collected eggs, picked raspberries... and brought out the chicken wire:

The donkeys were terribly excited when I stepped through their gate with an armful of something new and interesting and came trotting down to see:

Everyone needed time to do the sniff test:

Brownie kept a close eye on my every move:

He came closer and closer:

Until I thought he might lend me a hand, er, hoof:

He tried very hard to convince himself that what I was doing was actually in his favor:

...and though still confused about the whole event, Ian and Brownie's support was unwavering:

But I guess we can pretty much tell what Pistol's attitude was on the whole thing:

I have wrapped the tree:

When I finished, Ian, recognizing the effort I had put into this, willingly posed next to my handiwork. He also promised not to chew live trees anymore:

Now that I've protected the bark, though, I'm thinking this tree may have bigger issues that I can't really help with:


  1. That first tree wrap looks pretty close to the cast K had on her arm in 2nd grade.

    I have decided that Pistol's rump is multifaceted. He at times puts it there for you to scratch which makes him very happy. Then there are times when it seems almost like he is saying "talk to the hand"...he has no time for this. It is merely poppycock to him.

    Did they favor this one living tree? Or are you gonna have to make a trip for more chicken wire?

  2. Very professionally done. Perhaps it was all the 'help' you got. Those guys just have so much character. I'm particularly fond of Pistol. I tend to go for hard cases. :o)

  3. Trees, the bane of keeping livestock....sometimes I appreciate it...when they strip the bark and kill the cottonwoods...others I'm not so happy about.

    I may have to resort to chicken wire to try and save some of the pasture trees.

    When we first moved into this house there was a beautiful apple tree that my DH two Ober goats had other thoughts and that was the end of the apple tree....

    We now have our fruit trees fenced off where the sheep and donkey can't reach the trunk bark, but that doesn't stop Jasmine from reaching over and helping herself to some tasty branches! :)

  4. Nice job Danni. You are very handy. I was wondering the same thing as FrugalMom...will you be wrapping more trees with chicken wire? You have a lot of trees!

  5. Hmmmmmm.....I like the idea of protecting the trees , but I'm more concerned about them eating your house now. Maybe have a couple of those attitude chickens keep an eye out for that.Good Luck. LOL

  6. Very interesting! I'm learning so much about donkeys here! So, do they favor a particular type of tree? Or is all bark, good bark? They're so helpful. Maybe I do need to add a few around here after all! :)

  7. I never knew donkeys would strip bark. I, too, am really impressed with the professional job you did. I've tried doing things with chicken wire like that, but it usually winds up all folded on itself and saggy and just a mess.

  8. Jack likes to rub on trees but I hadn't noticed that he chews on them. I suppose he is too busy following Belle
    We had a whole lot of tree bark stripping from beavers a few years back.
    I love the cute helpers you have.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. Her name is Danni,
    and she wraps trees.
    She asked the Donkeys to stop,
    she even said Please.
    Wicky wicky wicky
    Wuzz up?

    Hows that for rappin?

  10. Naughty Donkeys! Do you think if I wrap my gimpy guinea in chicken wire it'll keep Ole from nibbling on her???

  11. How nice of you to provide dental floss for the donks. But is chicken wire appropriate? Did you check with their Dentist?

  12. Well, that's certainly cheaper than the stuff you can buy to paint on the trees to keep them from snacking. You'd have to buy the stuff by the gallons! You did a really good job of it too, can't hardly tell it's there.

    Pistol is...a pistol, isn't he? :)

  13. Do tree (w)rappers get to drive tricked-out tractors with huge stereos and wear lots of bling with their Carharts? I hope so.

  14. I never knew donkeys would do that. I have problems with the deer stripping the young trees here or biting the tops out of the small trees that are planted. Crazy! Nice job of wrapping.

  15. All I can hear in my head is "I'm a tree wrapper" to the tune of "I'm a girl watcher".

    I gots to come out and check out your donks at some point Danni- maybe we can plan a time that we can "go visit" each other's places.

  16. Kathryn and Ari crack me up! Tricked out tractors...bling with your Carharts...very funny indeed.

  17. Hi frugal mom - yes, Pistol has a complex butt, doesn't he. While humans use their facial expressions to illustrate their moods and feelings, Pistol is fully capable of using his hind end to make his feelings known.

    Regarding your question about whether this was the only living tree they favor, the answer is that I will be making some trips for additional chicken wire in the future.

    Hi carolynn, I agree - the professional appearance of my work definitely stemmed from the equine assistance I received. Maybe I should rent these boys out?
    Regarding you favoring Pistol, you are not alone. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, an "I scratched Pistol's ass" fan club is just starting up. See me offline for further details if you are interested in becoming a member. :-)

    Hey wrensong - thankfully, my apple and pear trees are well beyond the donks' reach - well, except for that one time Pistol got out...but clearly these guys are equal opportunity tree lovers and don't seem to prefer just one type.

    Hi farmer jen - thanks for appreciating my work. And yes, I have no doubt that there will be more tree-wrapping in my future. However, thanks now to sugarcreekstuff, I will need to be composing rap lyrics in my head while I wrap.

    Hey king edward!! Thanks for your concern for my house, but fortunately the donkeys are kept behind a 7-strand new zealand-style electric fence...well, except for that part of the fence up by the barn that's made out of....w o o d.... Wood? Oh no......

    Hi farm mom - as you can see from some of the other comments I've gotten, donkeys (and horses) apparently aren't picky about the types of trees they chew. Although, it's probably safe to say that, given a choice, they'd probably go for the fruit trees before the fir's all a matter of whatcha got in front of ya, you know? :-)

    Hi pamela - actually, after I read your comment, I went back into my post and amended the word "strip" to "eat", because "strip" implies they are pulling off large sections of bark at a time, which is not what they're doing. It's more like they are eating the knobby, sticking out parts of bark that keep the surface of a tree from being completely flat. You can kind of see this in my photos. Let me know if you need help in the future with the chicken wire. Apparently I have a skill I wasn't aware of. :-)

    Hi ga.farmwoman - Beavers! Now that's one thing we *don't* have. So Jack won't chew huh? Does he spit? ha! lol

    Hi sugarcreekstuff - sure, I may have a way with the wire wrapping, but the lyrical rapping is all YOU, michelle. Slippery slope, though...everybody's gonna start wanting you to rap in their comments now. :-)

    Hi eve!! Chickenwire - it's magic, I tell ya. Though I'm not sure about actually wrapping your guinea in it. What about wrapping Ole's mouth... does he have any teeth that need straightening? :-)

    Hey greywolf - Don't you know good dental hygiene is important for ALL species?

    Hi Ceecee - I was kind of thinking of getting some of that liquid stuff for the partial wood fencing that I have on the way up to the barn - but then I saw the price tag - sheesh!! And then, I'm not even sure it works. Do you have experience with it?

    Hi kathryn and ari - Sadly, the answer to your question is: NO. Our property is far too steep for any kind of cool tractor-type device. I do have a Carhartt vest, though. Does that make me semi-blingy?

    Hi egghead - It's funny - I had so many more problems with deer when I lived in my more urban neighborhood - they would decimate everything in sight - roses, hostas, apple trees, tulips, etc. Here - not so much. To make up for this, though, I've now got donkeys that crave really big trees. interesting. :-)

  18. Hi tonya!! I've been wanting to get out to visit you and Kao forever - let's do it! It'd be great fun to do a home visit swap. I'd love for you to finally meet "the boys" and of course, your favorite hen, Dot!


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