I have a few little apple saplings growing in pots. Two have had their growing tips sheared off by something, I suspect a caterpillar. I applied a pyrethrin/neem spray with added capsaicin in case it was a mammal. Now, less than a day later, the culprit has returned and sheared off even more growing shoots! They look like someone just primed them off (not a person - I live in the middle of nowhere). Any ideas?
If you can, set up a game camera, the cut I can see in your photo doesn't look like a deer bite mark (deer only have upper teeth so there is usually a "tag" in the middle of their bite marks).
With out a reference, I can't really tell how tall these saplings are so I can't rule out rabbits. Rabbits will make clean cut lines and they sometimes take off whole leaves to take home with them for a late night snack.
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