Squirrels cannot climb a smooth or slippery surface. So if your pole is smooth or slippery, they cannot climb it, but squirrels can climb a polished steel pole. They can leap more than 8 feet. Their tails give them outstanding balance, allowing them to cross long lengths of thin wire effortlessly. For more protection, buy a squirrel baffle and attach it to the pole to prevent them from climbing up from below.