I don’t mind sharing my garden with possums. That is no lie. Maybe it’s not exactly the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but honestly, Your Honour, if possums want to pick some citrus fruit or nibble the tender new shoots of my rose bushes, that’s okay by me. Heck, they even live in my roof (and make quite a bit of noise during the day doing whatever it is possums do while “sleeping”) and that doesn’t bother me (though it does Frank so he’s building a possum box and is hatching other schemes to move the squatters to less up-close-and-personal digs). What is not okay is for a possum to strip bark off my fruit trees leaving them fighting for their very survival.
I first noticed this bad habit (and its disastrous consequences – not a single avocado last year) last September. Putting a plastic pot around the trunk half way up my avocado tree worked a treat (the pot is still there). Is that why the possum is eating my citrus trees this year? Payback for blocking last spring’s tender meal? Whatever his motivation, this is clearly the time of year possums (at least mine) start in on their major fruit-destruction-initiative. The bananas were tasted and spared – not ripe enough perhaps? We’re talking about cutting down the spear and bringing it in the house just to be on the safe side.
We’ve also put in a bit of an effort to protect the kumquat tree from more attacks. I don’t like our chances of keeping the possum out of the tree – between the fence and all the shrubbery and branches, there are just too many paths into it – but we have to try to make it just that little bit too bothersome for him to climb up and chow down.
You’d think all those oranges and lemons he’s eating would be enough but no, my possum has to set about actually killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Silly bugger.
Okay, maybe I do hate possums just a tiny bit.