[NAFEX] covering cherries, fruit bags questions

Ernest Plutko ernestplutko at wiktel.com
Wed May 7 00:39:05 EDT 2008

Electric fence should work well for raccoons.

zone 2-3 Minnesota

---- Original Message ----
From: mddorogi at comcast.net
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] covering cherries, fruit bags questions
Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 21:19:55 -0400

>Yes, I used floating row cover last year.  My two sweet cherries are
>semi-dwarf; one is 10' tall and the other 15' now.  They usually set
>cherries pretty well, but between the birds and raccoons, we usually
>only a few.  It is frustrating.
>So last year I was more aggressive in trying to win the battle with
>I used aluminum flashing around the trunks to keep the coons out
>seems to work), I hung lots of pie tins in the trees, and I wrapped
>individual tree branches with floating row cover.  I have a picture
>of what
>it looked like; e-mail me separately (mddorogi at comcast.net) and I'll
>send it
>to you if you'd like.
>The floating row cover actually did work to keep the birds off the
>However, it was very labor intense, cutting pieces of row cover,
>on a ladder and trying to reach branches loaded with cherries,
>wrapping the
>row cover around the branches and securing them with clothespins. 
>no way I could protect most of the cherries, but we did end up
>getting more
>than we ever had.
>I'm not sure I'm up to doing that this year.  I'm actually thinking
>building a big giant cage, 10' on a side, 15' tall, and just
>enclosing the
>whole tree with chicken wire.  That would keep all the birds and the
>raccoons out, and the neighbors would maintain their suspicion about
>going on over here.  I haven't worked out the engineering details of
>it yet,
>but it seems like it ought to be possible for one or two trees.  (I
>have two
>smaller balaton cherries right along the garage wall, and I'm
>trimming them
>so they can be enclosed more easily, by just putting up a couple
>posts and
>using chicken wire).
>If your trees are small, it would be easier to cover them in bird
>Bugs aren't a big deal for cherries, at least where I am, but the
>birds have
>a field day.  I have a dwarf sour cherry that I cover with bird
>(also a tedious operation) and that seems to work.
>I bagged my apples last year (I have pics of that too) and was
>happy with the results.  I used plain old cheap sandwich bags.  My
>mistake is that I didn't clip the bottom corners to allow water to
>drain, so
>I had to go around and do that later. Even with that, there was more
>condensation in the bags than I'd like, but it didn't seem too
>harmful to
>the apples.  I experimented with perforating the bags with a wire
>brush to
>allow some air circulation, but the holes were too fine; then I made
>perforator with wire brads that did the job better.  More engineering
>details.  Maybe I should try the paper bags, or footies.  But I used
>500 bags last year, and the plastic baggies are cheap.
>This year I am contemplating sealing off the little space where the
>goes into the baggie with some tanglefoot or something to keep water
>and the occasional bug as well.  It would be nice to modify the
>baggie to
>remove a section of the seal, since it digs into the stem a little. I
>think that caused any premature drops, but I could see a little mark
>on the
>Put the bags on as soon as you can see apples, when they are around
>sized or even less. Don't wait. Thin at the same time.  That's around
>Memorial Day here in southeast Michigan.  I spray a few times up to
>then and
>then don't spray at all once the bags are on.  The curculio were
>already in
>action when I bagged last year, but they hadn't done much damage. 
>I put some bags on peaches.  It didn't work too well; I think any
>condensation in there is deleterious for peaches.  Anyway, the
>raccoons get
>mine every year, and bags offer no protection there.  This year, it
>might be
>electric fence time.  Or, rent-a-dog.  
>Ann Arbor MI
>  _____  
>From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Goat Gal
>Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 11:55 AM
>To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: [NAFEX] covering cherries, fruit bags questions
>For the first time my two dwarf sweet cherries managed to bloom after
>and have set tons of berries.  I was thinking of covering the trees
>floating row cover (making big sacks) to keep out birds and bugs. 
>anyone ever done this?  When would be the time to cover the fruit
>protect from pests like cherry fruit fly?
>Also, my Queen Cox also bloomed profusely for the first time this
>year.  I'd
>like to bag the apples...when does one apply the bags?
>Also anyone try bags on peaches, plums or pluots?

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