🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

My Kiepersol died!

My Kiepersol (Cabbage tree - Cussonia paniculata) is dead. Yea, dead.

The first signs were leaves drying out and then all the leaves dropping to the ground every day - and large gouges in the trunk of the tree. Like some animal has been eating the bark. But there are no large animals in my garden. So that was not the problem.

Then, a couple of weeks later, I discovered that I had a Ground Squirrel living in my garden.

(I did not manage to get a photo of him, this one is from Google)

Ground squirrels are primarily herbivorous, and their diet changes with the season. After emerging from hibernation, they feed almost exclusively on green grasses and herbaceous plants. When annual plants begin to dry and produce seed, squirrels switch to seeds, grains, nuts and roots, and begin to store food. They are a bit bigger than a large rat with a fluffy tail and are regarded as troublesome rodent pests for many home gardeners.
Although ground squirrels look similar to tree squirrels and can climb trees, when frightened they generally will retreat to their burrow, and I did find his burrow under all the ferns surrounding my Kiepersol.

So I concluded that he was the culprit causing the early demise of my lovely Cabbage Tree...

My Kiepersol in better days...

A beautiful, large Kiepersol which I photographed at the Randfontein Private Hospital (Gauteng, South Africa) in 2017.

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