Do Raccoons Live, Climb Or Nest In Trees?

If you have trees in your garden, then you may be wondering whether it’s possible for raccoons to live in them. In this article, not only will you find out how likely it is a raccoon will end up living in your tree, but you’ll also learn signs to look for and the trees they favor. Of course, we’ll also discuss how to stop it from happening and other frequently asked questions as well!

So keep reading to find out everything you want to know!

Can Raccoons Climb Trees?

Yes, raccoons are excellent climbers! So don’t be surprised if you see a raccoon climbing a tree at some point; oftentimes, they favor them as a safe place to stay.

Do Raccoons Live In Trees?

Yes, it’s not uncommon for raccoons to live in trees. They provide them with a small, warm, dark, enclosed space they can keep themselves and their kits safe. As well as this, tree hollows are a lot safer from predators when compared to other locations.

Do Raccoons Live In Tree Holes?

When raccoons opt to live in trees, it’s often the tree holes they live in. Or, when it’s not a tree hole, it will be a completely hollow tree. However, they’ll only stay in a tree hole if there is enough food nearby.

Do Raccoons Nest In Trees?

While raccoons can nest in a whole variety of places, they do love to nest in trees, and they are adept at picking the ideal trees to nest in. If a tree has already been hollowed out or has a hole already, they’ll probably love it as their nest.

Tree nests are actually some of the best nests for raccoons due to their natural safety from predators, so they’re favored by raccoon mothers.

Raccoon sitting and staring intently

What Does A Raccoon Nest Look Like?

If you think that a raccoon has been nesting in the trees in your garden, there are some tell-tale signs you should look for. Those signs include:

Scratch Marks

As the raccoon climbs up and down the tree, they’ll end up leaving scratch marks on the trunk and possibly on the branches, so these are one of the signs to look out for.

Hand Prints

If the raccoons have been walking through mud, it’s also likely that they’ll leave handprints on the surface of the trees as well.

Tracks In The Surrounding Areas

Once raccoons have established where their nest is going to be, they’re going to begin foraging for food. When this happens, you can expect to see paw prints in the surrounding area.


Another clear sign that raccoons have made a nest in your tree is that there are droppings around the tree. If you have a particularly good sense of smell, you may also smell urine.

Litter Around Your Home

Lastly, as raccoons begin to pilfer through your trash and other areas, you may begin to notice a build-up of litter and debris.

Strange Noises

You may also hear scratching and rummaging around your property when raccoons have decided to nest as well. If it’s happening at night, then it’s even more likely that it’s raccoons too!

Why Are Raccoons In Your Tree A Problem?

Even if there are raccoons in your tree, you may just think that it’s better to leave them alone. Unfortunately, if there are raccoons in your trees, then a number of problems can occur.

Their Excrement Is Dangerous

First of all, the excrement of raccoons can be quite harmful. It can often contain dangerous parasites like roundworms. If you have children or pets and they accidentally stumble onto the excrement, it could end up making them sick.

They Make A Mess

Raccoons are also going to make a mess when they forage for food as well. They’ll tip over trash cans and rip open garbage bags in an attempt to get to the food. Not only is this unsightly, but it could also end up attracting other pests to your property as well!

They May Move Into Your House

And lastly, the raccoons may decide to move into your home. Attics and unused garages make great dens for raccoons. And once they’re in your house, it’s going to be a lot harder to get them to leave.

As well as this, they can also cause extensive damage to your home by chewing through things such as wires.

How To Stop Raccoons Climbing Your Trees?

If you notice that raccoons have taken a liking to your trees, then you’ll need to do everything you can to deter them from climbing in the future! Here are a few of the ways you can stop raccoons from climbing your trees in the future!

Cut All Branches Under Three Feet

First of all, you should cut any branches off your tree that are under three feet. Doing this will make sure raccoons have no foothold or anything to grab onto, so they’ll be unable to climb the tree.

Try Porcupine Wire Mesh

Another great choice is to wrap porcupine wire mesh around the base of the tree as well. This is going to make it incredibly uncomfortable for raccoons to climb. Just make sure you’re putting the wire mesh further up the tree, so people don’t get caught on it. About 9 feet should be enough.

Use Sheet Metal

You can also wrap sheet metal around the trunk of your tree as well. This smooth material will make it impossible for raccoons to climb your tree. You just need to place it around the first 3-4 feet of the tree’s trunk.

How To Deter Raccoons From Your Property

As well as making sure that raccoons are unable to climb your trees, you should also do everything you can to deter them from the rest of your property! Otherwise, they may end up making a nest somewhere else. Here are all the different things you can try!

Keep Your Trash Sealed

The first thing to do is make sure your trash is well-sealed. Raccoons enjoy searching through the trash for meals. Making sure they can’t get your trash will therefore make your home far less enticing to them.

Block Off Entry To Your Home

Additionally, you should also make sure that entrances to your property are blocked off too. It’s shocking all the different ways raccoons can enter your home. So you must consider less visible entrances, such as your chimney or cat flap, in addition to addressing any more obvious points of entry.

Remove Pet Food

Make sure that you take away pet food from your pets once they have finished eating. Unfortunately, leaving pet food out all day will also draw raccoons to your house.

Shine Bright Lights At The Raccoon

If you spot raccoons in your backyard or home, when you notice them, shine a bright light on them. This is going to scare them away instantly, and if you do it enough times, they’ll begin to feel like that area is unsafe.

Make Sure Trees And Hedges Are Trimmed

You should also make sure that trees and hedges around your house are trimmed as well. This is especially true when any of these things are touching your house. A lot of the time, trees can give raccoons access to your roof or other areas of the home they can enter.

Try Scare Tactics

Things that make noise can be used to scare raccoons away as well. Wind chimes could make a raccoon jump when the wind blows, or leaving a radio on can make it seem to the raccoon that there are people in the vicinity.

Motion Activation Systems

Motion-activated sprinklers and lights can also scare raccoons, so the next time they enter your property, they might be enough to scare them away!

Improve Your Fence

If you don’t have a fence, then you should install one first to make it harder for raccoons to enter your premises. However, if you already have a fence, make sure that it also goes deep underground as well.

Not only are raccoons good at climbing, but they’re also good at digging, so you need to make sure you’re cutting off both ways in.

Predator Urine

And lastly, predator urine can be an effective way to get rid of raccoons as well. Bobcats, cougars, and even domestic dogs are all predators to raccoons, so purchasing some predator urine is a great way to deter them!


Now you know that raccoons often make dens in trees and actually favor them in other areas; here are some other frequently asked questions people have about them!

Why Do Raccoons Climb Trees At Night?

Most of the time, raccoons will climb up a tree at night because that’s where their den is. On top of this, they may also be climbing to explore, for playing, and even escape predators that are nearby.

Do Raccoons Sleep In Trees?

Yes, raccoons love to sleep in trees; as long as there’s a water source and food nearby, they’ll likely even make their den in a tree as well. It’s not uncommon for mother raccoons to keep their kits safe in tree holes too.

Why Is There A Raccoon In Your Tree During The Day?

If you have raccoons in your tree during the day, then it’s probably because they want somewhere safe to rest and relax. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, so they like to sleep during the day.

Do Raccoons Live In Palm Trees?

It’s possible for raccoons to live in palm trees, especially those with thick frond skirts that make it easy for raccoons to hide.

Do Raccoons Live In Pine Trees?

Raccoons actually love pine trees, thanks to their height and large trunks. Often times pine trees also include tree hollows which make readily available dens for raccoons.

Do Raccoons Live In Fruit Trees

Raccoons love eating fruit, so fruit trees not only provide safety but food for them as well! As long as the tree is tall and sturdy, then it’s not uncommon for them to make their homes there.


Now you know that raccoons absolutely love climbing, sleeping, and being in trees. They provide them with all the shelter and safety they need for them and their kits. However, there are also plenty of things you can do to stop them from climbing your trees and deter them from your property as well!

Lastly, if you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!

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