[nafex] screen

H.Dessureault inter.verbis at atreide.net
Sat May 5 14:17:13 EDT 2001

Hello Del,
I used those window screens a few years back to protect small trees (one year old grafts) against field mice and voles over the winter.
I was using pieces about one foot by one foot and sometimes a little bigger depending on the size of the tree. 
I folded the screen to make sort of a tube around the stem of the small tree and I used a regular paper stapler to staple the overlap at the top and at the bottom. I put a staple as far as I could reach by inserting the bottom smaller part of the stapler inside the tube, and then I put one staple near the edge, bringing the overlap thighter. I did the same at the top. Four staples to keep the overlap together. I removed them in the Spring and put them back in the Fall. The staples were solid enough to keep things together but not enough that you could not pull it easily apart.
They work, but were not 100 % proof. There is always a crafty little devil to sneak in one way or another. I was using mulch in my garden, and partly because of it I suspect, it was turning into a haven for voles which sometimes even chewed beets and carrots.
After that, I got a few cats. 
After four years, I am very happy with the cats solution. They do a pretty good job and cover a large area.

PS: I have seen mice damages on two inches diameter apple trees. Voles takes bigger chunks and one year I had extensive damages to one apple tree about 3 " in diameter, which, on top of it, was painted with white latex mixed with lime. An act of desperation, indeed.
Though, I am under the impression that prunus are not a mouse favorite food. Has anyone ever experienced mice damage on prunus?

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: del stubbs 
  To: nafex at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 9:28 AM
  Subject: [nafex] screen

  The collecting of used metal window screen from the hardware store has 
  worked out great..they're happy to be rid of it and we're happy to take it, 
  lots.  Should be enough for all 200 trees by summers end.
  The smaller the diameter I make the tube the more I get from each sheet. But 
  the sooner it will be too small. Rabbits aren't a concern, just voles, and 
  perhaps those borers (don't know if they are in our area).
        The screen cuts beautifully in a paper cutter, with scissors, or metal 
  shears.  I have'nt decided yet whether to staple it into a tube or loosely 
  wrap say twice around and tie with wire (so it can be expanded later)
        Question  : What dia. of tree is it no longer needed against voles?...if 
  you were doing it what max diameter would you all make the tubes? 1", 3", 
  6", ? rootstocks are: apple (prunifolia and B118), manchurian apricot, pyrus 
  ussuriensis, prunus americana.  Thanks    Mn. Del Z2/3 where 1/3 of the 
  apples are green tip.
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