Many Australian homeowners have resigned themselves to the fact that they have to share their property with possums. The common brushtail possum is widespread across Australia and culling is not permitted (with the exception of Tasmania). Relocation is only permitted in certain cases and is strictly regulated. So if you're constantly woken up at night by a possum party on your roof, you will need to take preventative action to stop the possums from gaining access to your trees. Possums can also cause significant damage to the trees themselves. A small amount of effort is required but the solutions can be quite effective.
The easiest way to prevent possums from accessing your trees is to install a possum guard. This is a metal sleeve that is attached to the trunk of the tree, which prevents the possum from obtaining a grip. Possums have an estimated vertical leap of 1 metre, meaning that any possum guards need to have a height of around 1.5 metres. These guards can be bought from most hardware shops and are affixed to the tree with nails. There are guards that are coloured to look like natural tree bark if you don't like the look of the metal option.
Once up the tree, the possum can often move from tree to tree via the canopy. They will often feast upon the upper flowers and fresh shoots found towards the top of the tree. This is where these items can be found in abundance, and grazing at this height offers protection from ground-based predators. It can also cause noticeable damage to the tree. Significant pruning of the canopy can prevent the possum from moving from tree to tree, which will protect the majority of the trees on your property once possum guards have been installed.
A tree that is positioned next to your home allows rooftop access for the possum. Pruning is another viable option for removing this access when coupled with a possum guard. Tree removal is an extreme, although highly effective, measure in these cases. It's a matter of personal preference, although it should perhaps only be considered if the tree canopy re-grows so quickly that pruning becomes an all-too-frequent task. You need to check with your local council before considering tree removal to ensure that the tree is not subject to a protection order.
Tree removal is an effective last step, but with the correct installation of possum guards, the problem should be solved before this becomes necessary. This allows you to live side by side with the possums who have made a home on your property. For more tree care tips, contact a company like Kingdoms Tree Care.