How do you protect small trees and saplings from animals in the field?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by insipidtoast, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. insipidtoast

    insipidtoast Junior Member

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    What are good materials to make your own plant protectors? I don't know where to buy any, nor do I went to spend much money.
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Plastic bottles, nursery pots, a few puces of bamboo some string and glad wrap/plastic film?
     
  3. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I save the plastic netting bags that bulbs come in, open them up and wrap them around the trunks of fruit trees for mice and voles, and around upper trunks to keep the deer from nibbling. I keep it loose and watch to make sure the tree isn't attaching to it. I saw some oranges in a netting bag at the store, so I think they might be common for produce as well.
     
  4. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    What type of animals are you worried about?

    The exact publication is escaping me now, but I recall a story Mollison related in which a keen farmer notices his pigs going into his briar patches. Turns out they smelled apples from a young tree. Mimicking succession, the tree shoots up through the thicket of briars without producing much in the way of branches. In other words, if you sow trees in the protection of any sort of short, pioneer, thicket forming bush you will gain not only a self-pruning tree, but you ward off any would be large browsers. Only once the fruit begins to fall and bring the attention of large animals should any come close to the tree. And by this time, the tree is large enough to rebound from some attention. In the "end" the tree will eventually shade out the thicket and you have yourself a healthy fruit tree.

    Great story. Whether its something that is easily replicated, I don't know. But I fully intend on trying it out.
     
  5. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Please don't use gladwrap/clingfilm. It's a fairly nasty pollutant.

    Chicken wire gets used here alot. I can usually find some at the recycle centre if I'm patient.

    I agree, it depends on what animals you want to keep out. Bigger animals require sturdier solutions.
     
  6. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    The idea of briars scares me a little because it's not fun reaching through them to pick up fallen fruit, or standing it in to pick. And fruit left rotting attracts troublesome insects that wouldn't hang around to lay eggs if they didn't find rotting fruit. We have wild blackberries and the rabbits live happily under them, running back and forth from brush to brush, and they love to chew tree trunks that are covered. And if rabbits are under there so are the rest of the rodents that love to be under things.

    You can also make an egg yolk spray (separate the whites so they won't clog the sprayer), 2 egg yolks strained into a kitchen bottle sized sprayer, and spray the trunk. There is a chemical in the yolks that mammals don't like. Even raccoons. I used to spray hundreds of feet of tomato plants and it kept everything away. But if it rains or gets too foggy it has to be resprayed. Keep it refrigerated for a week or so, but try to use it all at once. Always backflush the spray mechanism.
     
  7. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    There are a lot of issues with the story Mollison told. However, the fallen fruit is meant to be eaten by your own animals. If I remember correctly, the farmer first used pigs to get into the briars. Then later cattle wanted the fruit and they did a good job stomping through the briars. The tree wouldn't be producing for human consumption for a while. At the same time it seems a bit "too good to be true" or, your mileage may vary!

    I'd never heard of the egg yolk trick. I may need to use it one day!
     
  8. insipidtoast

    insipidtoast Junior Member

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    How long does a blackberry patch live for until it dies of its own accord?
     
  9. martyn

    martyn Junior Member

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    Try laying a pile of old branches in a triangle around the base of the tree, they need to be about two feet high and two feet away from the plant to stop most animals. It works for cattle, horses, sheep and pigs, they don't like walking over piles of lose timber - I can't speak for goats however.
     
  10. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    And yet this is how I am growing a crab apple, and a fig tree, right in the middle of a briar patch to protect them.
     
  11. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    They die back when you apply pigs to eat the blackberry down to the roots, and watch them happily eat them up too. Makes for tasty pork. ;)
     
  12. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Sweet Pea: Do you know if the egg solution works for dogs? Our garden fence isn't really working anymore (just the plastic fencing you can get). With four dogs they inevitably find a way to break through. My parents will eventually upgrade to a real fence, but we just don't have the funds. I used a pepper solution earlier this year, but it appears that they don't notice it much anymore.
     
  13. CRTreeDude

    CRTreeDude Junior Member

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    You just saved me thousands of dollars! We have plantations which are being converted slowly into forest, we run sheep who love certain kinds of seedlings, usually the rare ones. When we thin out trees, I can use the tops for protection! The best thing is, you don't have to remove the brush when it is done.

    This of course works for faster growing trees. Here in Costa Rica, if it touches the soil, it will rot, fast. I might try a few stakes of wood that won't rot when touching the soil, first.
     

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