Other than the chiselhead, no small rodent found in the coniferous forest is quite so destructive. Most live on shoots, bark and the seeds found in cones. Many are ground dwellers and feed from the cones where they fall. Others are lightly built and agile enough to scramble along the branches to where the cones are actually growing. The trevel is unusual in having a prehensile tail.
Too heavy to reach the cones growing on the slenderest branches, it feeds on them instead by hanging by its tail from a sturdy neighboring branch and reaching out with its front paws. Like other rodents of this general size it gathers more than is necessary for its immediate needs and stores the rest for the lean winter months. Its hibernation nest is a long, drooping structure woven together from grass, strips of bark and pine needles. Built hanging from the end of a branch it is large enough to accommodate the animal together with sufficient food to see it through the winter.