how to keep birds away from pomegranates

The fruit is still small in late April — about the size of a golf ball.

In the summer as a kid, I’d grab an orchard peach and head outside, where the juice would dribble down my arm and drip onto the grass. (You’re welcome, Mom.)

So when I learned that peaches do quite well in Southern Arizona, I just had to plant some. This was 2011 and they were puny Desert Golds — maybe 3 feet tall.

They’ve grown since then — one is now twice as big as the other for some reason — and last summer was our first real harvest. Pat and I were sooo looking forward to that first crop. But we weren’t the only ones watching and waiting — the birds apparently were spreading the good news to all their feathered friends in the neighborhood. As the peaches began to ripen, we started losing a ton of them.

beneficial birds in your orchard

To attract bug-eating bluebirds or tree swallows, Orchard People advises orchardists to build birdhouses in their orchards. These birds will eat a variety of flying pests every day, which can contaminate the fruit on your developing trees.

For example, Eastern bluebirds consume enormous amounts of insects such as moths, mosquitoes, caterpillars, grubs, and snails during the growing season. Eastern bluebirds assist in regulating fruit tree pest populations because many of these insects cause harm to fruit trees. Tree swallows share a similar diet and are important in controlling pest populations. (This post explains how to draw beneficial birds to your garden.) ).

how to keep birds away from pomegranates

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The fruit is left to rot because they only peck a hole in each peach before moving on to the next. It’s comparable to allowing your child to eat every head on a Gummi Bear.

And besides, who’s paying the water bills here?

Thus, we installed some bird netting in May of last year and attempted to tie it shut beneath the lowest branches. However, there were gaps and it wasn’t easy because these were tall trees and short nets.

I kept a close eye on the trees just in case, as birds would unavoidably get under the nets and feast.

It was as though they were locked in at the free all-you-can-eat buffet, and they didn’t seem to mind. Twice a day or so Id chase them out.

However, I once came across a lizard that was hanging off the ground and entangled in the net. He had one leg and his head securely encircled in netting. At that point, I wasn’t even sure if he was still alive.

But I grabbed some scissors and set to work. I cut the strings very gently and carefully because I knew that one mistake could result in the loss of a toe or worse. He became slightly heavier in my hand with each snip. I could tell at that point that he was still breathing and alive. His eyes widened and appeared to be staring directly at me.

He zipped off my hand at the last second and skittered across the gravel to safety.

Although saving his little life felt amazing, I knew that netting wasn’t the best course of action.

The answer is nothing: None of it works.

At least that’s what horticulturist Eric Clark of Civano Nursery on the east side says.

Clark nicely shot down all of my ideas. And with 25 years in the business, he should know.

He claims that hanging CDs, reflective tape, and plastic owls are all ineffective. Birds are dumb but not that dumb.

It presents a little difficulty because they grow accustomed to everything. ”.

Jon Childers, employed at 8005 E. Mesquite Valley Growers Speedway, was a little more optimistic.

His No. For smaller trees, one technique is bird netting; he acknowledges that it can capture animals. Three-quarter-inch mesh is available in a range of sizes from Mesquite Valley.

The No. 2 method, Childers says, is holographic bird scare tape.

When his grandmother was alive, people would tie strips of foil or pie tins to the branches. These days, people use shiny objects, such as old CDs or DVDs, to frighten birds.

According to Clark, netting can be effective, but once more, it can also kill and trap birds, lizards, and snakes. And that’s painful for both of you and the poor deceased beastie.

Clark’s advice? Change your philosophy.

“Get used to sharing with the birds,” he says. It’s annoying, but you won’t notice it if you grow enough fruit.

And now go out there and tie a paper bag to every peach if you’re still determined to keep them safe. Use thick rubber bands to attach them. Additionally, avoid using plastic bags because the fruit needs to breathe.

Furthermore, he advises against letting the squirrels witness you attaching the bags because they might figure out what’s going on and join in on the action.

Wait — seriously, Eric??

Yes, he says — no joke. “Rock squirrels are a big problem. ”.

If you have a dog, take it outside and chase them away.

If all else fails, simply go pick all the fruit as soon as it begins to ripen.

Contact Susan at

Besides citrus, you can grow:

  • Apple (some varieties)
  • Apricot
  • Fig
  • Nectarine
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate

The following suggestions might or might not be useful to you. If you’ve tried any of them, please leave a comment:

  • Shiny CDs, tied to the branches with fishing line.
  • Aluminum pie plates: Again, tie them to the branches. Since this is retro, I have to give it a try.
  • Holographic flash tape: Attach the strips to the branches; you could even add more or rearrange them every few days. I just bought a roll and will test it out. (Mesquite Valley Growers carries this for $6. 99 for 100 feet of three-quarter inch wide tape).
  • Netting: Best for small trees. Three-quarter inch to five-eighths inch mesh is generally used. However, I find the netting hard to secure. The birds will find it difficult to escape if you don’t tuck it all the way under the tree. If small birds become entangled in the mesh, they may quickly perish.
  • Paper bags: I’m willing to give this a try, but I anticipate it taking a lot of time.
  • Move fake snakes and owls around a lot because birds will grow accustomed to seeing them, advises Childers.
  • Wind chimes: To mix things up a bit, I might give this a try later in the month when the fruits start to ripen.
  • The neighbors would definitely appreciate a motion-activated sound alarm, but perhaps this would work if you were living in the country. These devices broadcast bird-distress calls in an attempt to deter birds or draw in predatory birds like hawks.
  • Sonic alarm systems: These produce a wavering noise that disrupts birds’ senses, causing anxiety and obstructing their ability to communicate.
  • Windmills: Move them around frequently to confuse the birds.
  • An alternative food source is to scatter corn or birdseed near the trees, but keep it away from the trunks. However, a friend of mine who works as a gardener says that just brought more birds to her yard.
  • Motion-activated sprinkler: The sprinkler shoots water in the direction of the bird when it comes into contact with its motion sensor.

Many thanks to Jon Childers of Mesquite Valley Growers, 8005 E. Houghton Road, and horticulturist Eric Clark of Civano Nursery, 5301 S. Houghton Road. Speedway.

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How do I keep birds off my pomegranate tree?

Using exclusion netting. After pollination, trees or shrubs are covered with exclusion netting to prevent insects and birds from accessing the growing and ripening fruit. You can also use garden netting bags to cover growing fruit clusters.

How do I protect my pomegranate?

The fruit should be spread on shelves or tables or hung by tying strings to the fruit stems. Fruit can also be refrigerated. Fresh seeds or juice will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use frozen pomegranates within 1 year.

How do you protect pomegranate fruit from animals?

Cover a Whole Tree: Large box-shaped nets with a fine 2 mm woven mesh are available that can be used to cover a large shrub or small tree. Boxed nets have a skirt that should gather around the trunk of the tree to prevent animals accessing the fruit from below.

What is the best bird deterrent for fruit trees?

Aesthetics – Fruit Tree Bird Netting, especially black Bird Netting, is far less visible than bird spikes and other deterrents. Immediate results – Fruit Tree Bird Netting provides an immediate solution for many bird and bat problems.