when to cover fruit trees from birds

There is only one sure way to keep the birds off your fruit – and that’s to bird net. I write this today because this is the question on your lips, and you’re all so disgruntled when I answer bird net! Why do you all hate bird net so much? I love it! And I love the birds too, I really do – especially when they aren’t eating the bulk of my fruit.

Good quality net is a worthy investment. Buy direct form the industry for long lasting fabric that you can re-use for years to come. Check out Cosio Industries, Permathene, Advanced Landscape Supplies or Redpath, or who ever your local supplier is.

Nets are not only for fruit. Use them in the vegie patch to protect newly sown seed and/ or seedlings, and to contain chickens in my easy peasy, brilliant mobile runs.

I prefer a 12m wide net so as to achieve a lovely slack fit around the tree that allows the branches to hang loose in as close a semblance to their natural shape as possible. A larger net is also heaps easier to put on.

I like to leave protecting trees as late as possible to reduce the amount of shoots that grow through the net. Keep an eye out and when the birds start pecking, that’s your moment to get the net on.

Putting the net over is a bit of a knack but after a few go’s you and your net partner will get the hang of it. If you’re a shorty like me then get a broom.

Lay the net out along one side of the tree, in an orderly box-of-tissue concertina type style, so that as you lift it over the tree it’ll keep flowing. Well worth the 5 minutes to set up – it’ll save arguments, trust me.

Stand one on either side of the tree. Hook your broom under the top section of folded net, and lift it over as far as you can. Take the broom out and get it under the net again a bit lower down and lift another section up onto the tree.

All you need do now is go round to the other side of the tree and hook the edge of the net with the broom and pull it towards you in a few hits.

They say the best things come in small packages, but tall people are winning all the way here.

Be as gentle as you can and hopefully you wont knock too many fruits off. A few laterals may get broken but don’t worry too much, consider it a start to summer pruning.

Most birds get in at ground level. To prevent this, and the wind blowing the net about, leave the bottom edge laying on the ground and lay planks on top of it. I keep a stash of planks in the orchard precisely for this time of year. Or gather the net around the trunk and wrapping a bungy around it.

Drop by every other day to ensure no birds are tangled within – this only happens if you’ve left gaps. Eventually you get really pro at it – big nets really are the key. Far better to use one big one than have to join a few together.

Welcome . . .

Im Greg. My mission is to assist you in growing food at home in Southern California, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, particularly avocados. I write a new “Yard Post” every Friday.

Become a Yard Posts SUPPORTER like these cool people:

Frank Y, Colin S, gmjford, Rich C, Shawn C, billiame, Jeff R, WLC, John D, Robert B, Doug S, generalkobe, Michele, Soupy, Nick G, Lindsea And Sawyer, Tom K, Nicole R, Debra M, Darren A, BigOrangeTabby, Norma M, Marilyn F, Marty W, Sarah, litng, LiviOnTheCoast, Diane B, Kelly R, kicksavedave, aguaje, Randy B, tomatochild, Warford Farms, Michele G, msassi, cha4les, mmazloff, JJfromOC, tbschulz, Kathryn, Sam B, Sheila D, Khoang, espiro, Duke 360, Chitong C, Adrien P, Greg and Kerry Ann H, Sylmar Dal, Steve McF, Stan, Susan R, socalgardner, tonyram, hvicente, leelindsay, Michelle, Gabe C, James N, Kim O, Minerva M, Vanya K, Phillip T, Vasco O, Anne K, Laura T, Dan P, William D, Robert M, Brownieb3, Seyburn, Vistashaws, Palinka, rourkecarey, pboynton, go2jane, El Heff, acahni, vicksterh, Linda

To achieve a lovely slack fit around the tree and allow the branches to hang loose in a shape that is as close to their natural state as possible, I prefer a net that is 12 meters wide. A larger net is also heaps easier to put on.

Stand one on either side of the tree. Lift the top section of the folded net as far as you can by hooking your broom underneath it. Remove the broom, insert it under the net a little lower, and raise a second section up onto the tree.

Try to be as gentle as you can so that you don’t break off too many fruits. A few laterals might break, but don’t panic too much—think of it as the beginning of summer pruning.

In order to minimize the quantity of shoots that grow through the net, I prefer to leave protecting trees as late as possible. When the birds begin to peck, that’s the time to put the net on. Keep an eye out.

Visit every other day to make sure there are no birds entangled in it; this only occurs if gaps have been left. Big nets are actually the key when you eventually become really skilled at it. Using one large one is far more preferable than having to connect several of them.


How do I protect my fruit trees from birds?

The best way to protect your fruit trees is liquid bird repellent. Unlike other bird repellents, liquid bird repellent works effectively and efficiently. Liquid bird repellent has features such as: Quick and easy applications on most surfaces.

When should I cover my fruit trees?

At what temperature should you cover fruit trees? Plan to cover your tree whenever the temperature is expected to drop below 32 degrees F.

When should I cover my cherry tree from birds?

We always wait until there are full-sized green berries before covering the bed and weighing down the edges with rocks. It is really effective.