Squirrels Eating Magnolia Buds? 5 Effective Ways to Deter Them

So, you suspect squirrels eating your magnolia buds?

Don’t worry, in this post, you will find out how to stop them from eating your magnolia tree.

Why are Squirrels Eating Magnolia Buds?

Squirrels are eating magnolia buds, because of the strong aroma that draws them into the tree. They eat not only buds, but also stems, leaves, and twigs.

Common gray squirrels usually eat nuts and seeds, but when there’s no food around, they can eat almost everything that’s edible and provide nutrients.

If a squirrel is in your yard, there is a high chance, that it will eat your magnolia buds. Squirrels have a very keen sense of smell. The buds are tempting because they smell well, look well, and have nutritional value for squirrels, such as lots of proteins.

Squirrels usually destroy the tree, because they hoard more buds than they need to prepare for the next winter.

If you notice destroyed magnolia buds, partially eaten flowers, shallow digging spots in planting beds, or missing plants, you can be pretty sure that squirrels visit your yard.

Which Other Things in Your Yard Do Squirrels Like?

Squirrels eat not only magnolia buds. They can also eat the following plants.

  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Birdseed
  • Insects
  • Fungi
  • Eggs
  • Plant material
  • Dog and cat food
  • Scraps and waste

As you can see, they eat almost everything. However, there are a couple of plants that they don’t like, including onion, garlic, and hot peppers.

Related: How to Mulch Magnolia Leaves? Is it Even Worth it?

5 Effective Ways to Keep Squirrels Away From Your Magnolia Buds

These methods are effective if you want to protect your magnolia from squirrels.

Use a repellent

Repellents are really effective when it comes to deterring squirrels. These animals hate the scent of essential oils, so applying a repellent with peppermint oil, and cornmint oil is a highly effective method. You can buy this repellent on Amazon.

You simply distribute the repellent packs in desired areas, and strong and powerful ingredients get rid of squirrels from your yard. The smell deters squirrels, even for up to 90 days.

Spreading a predator’s urine can also be an effective repellent. Buying repellents that are made with the urine of squirrels’ predators such as foxes or coyotes, and spraying it around the yard can give immediate effects.

You can also make your own repellent containing 4 cups of water, 1 oz (30 ml) of hot sauce, and 3 drops of dish soap. Spraying it in your yard will deter squirrels from eating your stuff.

Trim the tree

Squirrels like to roam on the roof of your house, on your shed, barn, or on other trees. If your magnolia tree has long branches that touch the roofs, other trees, or the ground, the squirrel has easy access to get into your magnolia tree and eats the buds.

To avoid that, trim lower branches, as well as higher ones that might make it easy for a squirrel to jump on the magnolia tree. It will not guarantee 100% of success, but lower the chances of stealing magnolia buds.

Buy a squirrel trap

Another way of getting rid of squirrels is a trap. It humanely captures squirrels by trapping them inside, so you can catch the squirrel, and take it away from your yard, for example to the park, or a forest.

You just put the food like nuts, green vegetables, or cheese inside the cage, and once the squirrel gets into the trap, the gate will close without harming the animal. You can buy such a cage here on Amazon.

Get a dog or a cat

Dogs or cats love to chase small creatures. If you want to repel squirrels, I’d recommend a dog over a cat, because cats can be away for long periods of time, and might not be too effective.

When choosing a dog, make sure you don’t get a lazy dog. The most recommended breed is German Pinscher, which is specifically bred to chase rodents such as squirrels.

Use a heavy-duty wire netting

You can also think about surrounding your yard with a 1-inch (2,5 cm) mesh wire fence. It must go 6 inches (15 cm) under the ground, and extend at least 30 inches (75 cm) high above the ground to protect your yard.

Online, you can find a piece of advice to provide an alternative food of source, like placing a squirrel feeder like nuts, seeds, and corn. It might seem legit to focus the squirrel on something other than magnolia buds, however, it will cause more harm than good.

Squirrels will get used to this food. As a result, more and more squirrels will visit your yard, and overtime tens of squirrels might come to your yard, not only for their food, but also for your plants, including magnolia buds.

What Other Animals Can Eat Magnolia Buds?

Besides squirrels, these animals can also harm your magnolia tree by eating its flowers, buds, or twigs.

  • Opossum
  • Quail
  • Wild turkey
  • Deer
  • Beetles
  • Rabbits


Squirrels eat your magnolia buds because they provide them with lots of protein. To get rid of them, you can think about using repellents, installing traps, or trimming the tree.


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