An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Red Squirrel Gardens in the Woods

6-4-13 sugar maple seedlingsi 036Red and Gray Squirrels remain active year round, and thus, need to have access to food throughout the year. In order for this to happen, seeds and nuts must be stored in the warmer months for consumption during the winter and early spring, when food is much harder to find. While Gray Squirrels tend to bury nuts and seeds individually for this purpose, Red Squirrels often cache numerous seeds (mostly conifers and maples) in one spot, dispersing these caches throughout the woods. During the winter Red Squirrels use their memory (and sometimes their sense of smell) to locate these buried treasures. Inevitably some are overlooked and in many of these cases, the seeds germinate. Finding little patches of multiple seedlings, such as this miniature stand of young Sugar Maples, is a good indication that at least one Red Squirrel overwintered in the vicinity.

4 responses

  1. Dianne and Ed

    Words are so inadequate to express how much I am learning and enjoying your posts. In appreciation, Dianne

    June 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    • I am humbled by your remarks, Dianne. Thank you so much.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

  2. thank you for this info! It explains a lot about what is happening in my flower beds

    June 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

  3. SD

    Fascinating. Who would have thought? But just looking at Mary’s photograph is all it took to get me out, scouting the woodlands and, thank you Mary, discovering precisely what was described (and photographed).

    June 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

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