What happened to my trees? Maine porcupines

In areas with regular porcupine populations trees are often growing in different shapes than usual because of the chewing on their limbs over the years. Set up a trail camera between trees with porcupine sign to watch them shamble along with stiff tails held off the ground. With such large spines and confidence, a large porcupine has few concerns in the forest, most animals have learned or been taught to leave them alone.

This stunted and peculiar tree shape is usually indicative of a female porcupine for a few reasons. Firstly, they keep a smaller range then the males whose ranges often overlap those of a few females which means they have less trees available. They also stay closer to their den given they’re need for a safe home for birthing and care of their offspring.

A porcupine chewed the bark off this already diseased beech. There is little chance this tree will survive. Two fallen and one dead standing trees are also shown in the background, most likely also affected by porcupine. Woodsmen and dog owners often shoot the creatures which are viewed as pests and safety concerns.

Porcupines live in large tree cavities which have dirty trails left behind on white snow making them easy to spot. The offspring overwinter with their mother during the porcupette’s five-month up bringing and often den together in small groups.

Much like deer and hare, porcupine have densely fibrous scat. Porcupine scat is elongated ovals with blunt ends that are very uniform. They are often confused for deer scat. Hare turds are almost perfectly round and flattened. As with any other scat, it changes throughout the season given changes in diet but not as much as the hare and deer.

Limbs over 30 feet in the air and thick as my arms are freshly gnawed in some areas.

Porcupines use strong claws to climb and are very agile. In close proximity to a winter den the trees will all be scratched. The males fight for the privilege to breed with a female high in the trees which scratches the hell out of them.