This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I have tried various experiments to prevent their depredations on nursery stock for several years past, and find petroleum, in which a small quantity of Paris green is mixed, is effectual. Petroleum, painted lightly on one or both sides, if the tree is from one-half inch to one inch in diameter, has prevented them heretofore from gnawing the bark, but this last winter they did not regard it on one and two year old apple and other trees. But where Paris green or strychnine is mixed in, if they venture, which we have not seen to much extent, they will not come again. A wash of tobacco water, cresylic soap, etc., is good until a rain comes and washes it off. We have tried petroleum on small and large trees, and have not seen any harm to the trees; but we have when we used linseed oil. The bark turned black and it hurt the looks, and consequently sale, of the trees. Apple, pear, Norway maple and linden were their favorites.