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Fencing fruit trees-suggestions
As a follow up to my question about fruit trees, now that I have some ordered, recommendations on how to fence them? I. Thinking 1-2 t posts per tree with 4 or 5 foot tall either poultry fence or welded wire. I like the look of hardware cloth too but can't find it locally in anything other than 3 feet width. Any reason poultry fence wouldn't work? I have no bear issues that I'm aware of so it would just be to keep deer, rabbits, and raccoons out. Planning on a loose wrap of window screen around the trunks to prevent gnawing by mice.
Buy remesh from Lowe's, Menards, home Depot, etc....... cheapest alternative and you don't even have to use a t post unless it's hilly or you have bears.
Also.....use 24" of window screen at bottom of tree trunk for mice, rabbits, voles. Just cut and stample it with office stapler
....and its also the cheapest on a per ft basis when compared to welded wire, etc.......plus.....no posts!
Rabbits hop right thru the 2" x 4" fence I tried around a raspberry patch. Had to add 18" of chicken wire. For the rabbits get the split white corrugated plastic made for rabbits and voles. Voles will girdle a tree under the snow in the winter.
Had a buck stomp his way into a crabapple. Had 4' field fence (think sheep) around it. Beat the top right off.
For deer I've taken to using 4' field fence. Comes in rolls about 330'. You need a tractor to handle it. I put a post across the back of my old pickup, screw it to pegs in the back box holes and roll it off. I use it to protect shrubs all over my place. I don't know why they don't jump in, but they don't. Maybe because I rarely make the patches more than 20' across.
T Posts and 4 foot non-climb field fencing worked for my last couple of trees, to keep out Jackrabbits and deer.
Last Summer, I figured they were established enough to remove the fencing. I watched a doe come in, and proceed to eat every leaf within reach off my Asian Pear Tree! So I know, the fencing was effective.
As said above; remesh and aluminum window screen are proven bullet-proof protection (unless you have bears) and also the cheapest route. Protects against deer, rabbits, and mice/voles.
Poultry (or chicken) wire is loose, flimsy, and won't keep out voles/mice. You'll end up spending more on t-posts to make it work than just buying the remesh to begin with. Plus deer are known to push it over or squash it down to get to your trees.
Good luck to ya!
I have to use solar hot wire for bears and moose around an 8 ft fence. Once u have fruit bears will find.
I googled remesh and found panels and fencing. I don't understand how this wouldn't need a post? Can some post a pic?
Google "cement remesh" and you should come up with roles.
Here is a link for 150ft of it from Menards...
I use woven wire (hog wire) fencing and stack it 2 high, which makes it roughly 5’-6’ high, and make it 4’ in diameter. I have access on my farm, to a bunch of this old hog wire rolled up, so the price is right. I would definitely stake it down, lest the deer or the wind could push it over. I use 2 tee posts. I’ve also used some 6’ long pieces of #4 or #5 rebar to stake the cages with, but the tee posts are better, IMO. I put window screen stapled together around the trunk at least 18” high to account for snow levels to reduce the possible rabbit and vole issues. The 2”x4”x5’ welded wire works even better, but is a little spendy. If I have tubes on the trees, I raise the tubes up and wrap the trunks with screen. Then I fix the tubes so the bottom of the tube is off the ground a ways if possible. That way, the voles/mice don’t seem to build nests inside and are way less apt to girdle the tree. I’ve seen them girdle the tree 3’-4’ up off the ground inside of the tube.
It doesn't need a post because it's heavy and stiff.......once you get it in a hoop it doesn't move. I don't have any pics on me but as mentioned......this is the best way, and I have tried many.
This is what CAS and Catscratch are talking about. They work fine unless you have bear. I don't know if they work in high wind areas like Nebraska, Iowa, or Kansas. Does anyone know?
I have to disagree with CAS on this one. I’ve had deer push the fencing in to try and reach the leaves/buds on a couple of my fencing hoops. Successfully too, I might add. I could see where they had clipped the buds off. They would have easily pushed it over, had it not been staked. I even had one hoop surrounding an apple tree totally mangled, I assume, by a buck that got his rack tangled in the wire. Had the same thing happen to a blue spruce that was caged, although the cage was only about 40” high. This happened in early September, so I’m sure that it was done by a buck trying to rub his antlers.
Pocket gophers.....make sure if you have these, you take them out (and keep them out) as they will eat the sweet roots of fruit trees.
I'm a slow learner......cost me 36 of 44 apple trees:)
I put six foot high fence and the 18" of plastic protection tubes around the trunks, but the gophers were a whole different issue.
Ohio deer must be dumb Troy.......they don't seem to push on mine at all.....at least not yet!
If they did want to push on them I would agree staking may be needed.
Ive gone from using 2 pieces of the smallest rebar to one piece of the smallest rebar to no posts at all. I've caged about 350 trees .At the most I would use one thin rebar.As time went on they get accustomed to the cages I would say no posts at all like CAS.If using one piece of rebar I would just thread it through the overlapped ends and drive it in with a few taps,no wiring needed. They get used to it and leave them alone pretty much in my World
Like troy said- either my deer are a super species of fence wreckers or thier just persistent or starving- maybe all three- if i dont have 3 fence posts and 5 foot welded wire around my trees they will eat them to the ground. Since i went to this system i have not lost a tree- nearly 60 now. But if a brance thats less them thumb sized pokes out of the enclosure its eaten back right to the fence. When the tree get established enough and the crown is above the enclosure i will peel the fence down a foot or so so they will be able to access the fruit bettet. The pic is a dunstan chestnut tree
I think the deer around me just like to make my life more difficult! I think they’re in cahoots with the voles, rabbits, coons, etc. Deer supposedly won’t browse on spruce trees much, either. They destroyed about 15 of the 10’ spruce trees in my yard after we took the cages off them when the trees got too big. They browsed them off as far as they could reach.
I had a Nanking Cherry that was 10 years old when a porcupine climbed into 4' of chain link and destroyed it. Sometimes nothing works.
I've had good luck with the concrete reinforcement wire, or remesh. If you cut off the bottom horizontal wire, leaving the vertical wires, you're left with 5" "stakes" that help keep it in place.
I've found using a small pair of bolt cutters works the best. Unless you have forearms like Hulk Hogan then just go ahead and use side cut pliers. My forearms are only Macho Man sized, therefore I use the bolt cutters!
Easy on the Slimjims, fuzz ;-)
I hear ya on the bolt cutters, brother!
Yes, concrete mesh wire in rolls is what I used. Works great, I have a bunch of T post so put 3 in for each tree. Keeps the deer out of them, no problem. I ran out of wire for the last 3 trees, thought, well I'll get to it later, deer ate them so bad in the summer they died. Lesson learned..
Thanks for all the input. I'm thinking 10' of fencing per tree...
I’d suggest going 12-13’, Craig. 10’ gets you about a 3’ circle, whereas 13’ gets you about a 4’ circle. That extra foot may keep them from trying to reach in and nibble on the leaves/buds if you use remesh.