[NAFEX] deer protection for fruit trees

Randy Burd burdrs at gmail.com
Sun Jun 7 10:12:06 EDT 2009

A few months back, Alan Haigh posted his advice on individual fencing fruit
trees in deer country. This really seemed like a great idea and I have taken
his advice and added the advice of someone else spenting some extra money to
get black vinyl coated fencing to make the rings 'disappear' a bit more from
the distance.

I have three questions:

1. While this seems like a great idea for vigorous apple rootstocks like M7
or M111, can it be applied to more dwarfing rootstocks like B9 and M9? What
modifications would be needed?

2. Will this work for peaches? What modifications would be needed?

And finally,

3. Should I select scaffolds within the rings (below 5 feet) or focus only
on getting the leader above the top of the 5 ft ring and cut off all lower



Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 08:02:03 -0500
From: Alan Haigh <alandhaigh at gmail.com>
Subject: [NAFEX] deer protection for fruit trees
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
	<1f544d60902280502n3621a26fpf27600d1e12af15b at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

I install a lot of home orchards in areas where the deer populations remind
you of being on a game safari in Kenya.  I have had 8 point bucks within a
stones throw admire my work as I planted succulent young apple, mulberry and
Asian pear trees amongst all the other somewhat less attractive fruit trees
that will be in the mix.  The deer run in herds like antelopes and only
bow-hunting is permitted in most areas I work.

I protect smaller trees with about a 10' length of 5' tall, 14 g. galvanized
wire fencing and a single post to create individual rings for each tree.
The wire fencing can be secured to itself by hooking its wire to itself in 2
or 3 places from top to bottom so the rings are easily opened to tend to the
trees.  In worse predation areas I very rarely have to use 12'
(circumference) rings and 3 posts for particularly attractive cultivars like
the Mutsu apple, mulberries and Asian pears.

Low branches are eaten by the deer when they reach outside of protection
which encourages upward growth inside the fencing.  After a couple of years
the fencing can be removed and I protect the trunks from buck antlers with
3' rings around the trunks from pieces of the initial fencing.  The deer do
a pretty good job of keeping the trees trained above the browse line but
fruit laden branches must sometimes be crutched or tied to keep the deer
from tearing them off the tree.

This means that a lot of the fruit must be harvested from a stepladder, but
on the bright side, the deer eat all the drops, lessening apple fly maggot
pressure (at least that's my theory, as this is a nonexistent pest in my
orchards).  It also means that the orchards allow more open space for child
play and mowing the lawn.
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Message: 7
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 09:14:54 -0600
From: "Jim Fruth" <jfruth at tds.net>
Subject: [NAFEX] Making Berry Bead Bird Decoys
To: "NAFEX" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <981479D268CA4E078B91910058A236B5 at ibma20plaptop>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";

James Elie asked, "Rather than try to re-invent the wheel, how did you 
secure the beads to the wire in a natural looking manner?"

    First I wrapped the wire around the berry but the birds weren't fooled. 
It didn't work.  Thereafter, I began with a tiny loop, the end of which was 
bent perpendicular to it (the loop) and slipped the bead on.   At the top of

the bead, I bent the wire into another perpendicular.  Holding the wire and 
bead with a channel-lock pliers, I bent the wire with another perpendicular 
parallel to that portion of the wire that is inside the bead.  This works 
with dead-soft aluminum wire but anything stiffer poses serious problems.
    I tried inserting glue into the bead hole but couldn't figure out how to

get the glue down the hole without messing up the berry.  I tried putting a 
gob of glue at the top of the bead to hold the wire but that failed too.  I 
tried just making the tiny bottom loop with no loop at the top but, when the

birds made off with the decoy, the wire sometimes fell out.
    If you think of an improvement, I'd like to learn of it.
    BTW, just putting one here and there in a tree doesn't work as well as 
using lots (a dozen or more) in a small tree.

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
For jams, jellies, syrups and more:
1-877-265-6856 (Toll Free)
1-218-831-7018 (My Cell) 


Message: 8
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 09:26:45 -0600
From: "Jim Fruth" <jfruth at tds.net>
Subject: [NAFEX] deer-resistant plants?
To: "NAFEX" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <8B8ACDC7B65F4086840B2C16E8063F15 at ibma20plaptop>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

    Here, deer do munch on blackberries.  
    One year they mowed off my red raspberries almost at the height that I
would have pruned them down to. When I first saw it I did a 'double-take'
half wondering if I had pruned them and forgot.
    "My" deer will eat black raspberries but will leave them alone if red
raspberries are available.  They have never bothered any of my currants, but
they do nibble on blueberry.

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
For jams, jellies, syrups and more:
1-877-265-6856 (Toll Free)
1-218-831-7018 (My Cell)
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