Prevent damage from mice by keeping the ground clear of debris. This removes the protective layer mice are seeking to stay hidden from predators. Weeds, leaves and grass should all be maintained. Even mulch can create a hideout for small rodents.
Wrap the base of the trunks with hardware cloth at least 18-inches high. Mice will not be able to access the bark through this material. Be sure to remove the wire during the active growing season to prevent damaging the trunk as it grows.
In some situations, a baited trap may be the best route to avoid losing fruit trees. Bait stations can easily be made to ensure only the intended pests are accessing the bait. Use extreme caution when handling the bait and follow proper procedures to keep pets, children and others safe.
Monitor fruit trees regularly for signs of damage to the trunk. Damage can be more than an aesthetic problem if not remedied quickly. (Cynthia Domenghini)