Haven’t seen this stuff mentioned much, but it’s supremely useful in the garden for many purposes. Concrete remesh is available at most hardware stores for around $100 for a 5’x150’ roll. I’ve used it for vegetable trellising and deer fencing around individual trees. Some people use it for super tomato cages, as well.
1 roll made 9 deer fences for young trees.
Picture from spring, supported with conduit pipes this trellis is good for my vining crops.
What are the bird boxes? Bluebirds?
I have some tomato cages made out of it that someone was throwing about maybe 10 years ago…i took all of them and have used them every year.
I think tree swallows nest in them. I’m not a bird expert, but that’s what they look like. They already left for the year.
On the topic of birds, I’m going to built some purple martin houses this winter, hopefully some martins show up. If not, the local barn swallows can use them!
I’ve been using the 7 1/2’ X 20’ concrete mesh circled around for moose protection. Only getting about 6’ diameter, so limits the tree size, plus the moose will nip branches above the wire. Next year I will try throwing a couple pieces of conduit arched across the top with clear plastic to give rain shelter to some cherries. I don’t use any structure or support, although I stake the upwind side sometimes as a hard wind might tip it over.
How easy is it to work it? Cut it?
I’ve been looking for some more fencing for my growing trees. They are starting to extend out past their circular fence perimeters. I have them pretty tight to them, most are about 3-5 feet diameter in width, except for the bigger Lowe’s trees, which are about 5-7ft diameters. All of the fencing is 4ft tall.
Your thread got me looking at the Tractor Supply site, and I found this on sale, which sounds like a great deal. I usually get the smaller squared 4ft tall fencing for $60 per 100ft roll. But this is larger squared fencing, at $110 for a 4ft tall, 330ft roll. Sounds like a better deal for me:
This is what I’ve used in the past:
I use small bolt cutters to cut it, maybe you can power thru it with wire cutters but it’s fairly thick. It has 6" openings so not a ton of cuts per piece.
That’s the same fence I used and I cut it easily with a pair of fencing pliers. Got them at Tractor Supply too for 8 bucks…
Which fence are you talking about?
I bought a fence tool, cuts wire, and has a hammer on it. But, I freaking lost it somewhere on the farm. No telling where it is. Maybe it’s in the barn somewhere that I’ve overlooked. Wasn’t cheap, about $15!
Looks sturdy for sure, but is it hard to bend around the trees? Where did you get it? It looks like it’s untreated, does it/would it rust?
I think I’ll go with the welded wire fencing. Just not sure which one to buy, that 330’ roll for $110 sounds like a good deal. I’m debating whether to put it around each tree, or run it around the whole row of trees. If I did that, I’d prob have to get two rolls.
It’s not too hard to work with, but the end of the roll is tough to straighten. Like any fencing you have to be careful not to get cut by the ends. Having 2 people would make it easier but I did it all by myself.
I got it at Lowe’s. It is rusty but it’s thick enough I don’t worry about it.
Concrete remesh is too heavy and too hard to cut and provides no benefit for me over 14 gage fencing, both galvanized or plastic coated. Plastic coated fencing lasts at least 50 years in the humid regions, it seems, and straight galvanized about 15. If you have extremely aggressive dear I can see how the remesh might be worthwhile so you could protect single fruit trees with only one stake supporting your cylinder, but that is all it usually takes anyway here, even when deer are always around.
I like being able to twist 2 or 3 pieces of the fencing to close the cylinder, which is a painful endeavor with remesh.
I use this for cages on some of my trees that are outside the fenced orchard as well as the 2x4 galvanized stuff as I had some left over from a pour. Deer will stick their head between the wires to eat leaves, so it needs to extend a ways past the the tree. Last year for the first time a buck stuck his head through the remesh cage and got the cage stuck on his head/antlers. He ripped the cage off the stakes, and trashed the tree in the process. I eventually found the mangled cage about 50 yards away.
I cut it with bolt cutters in the middle of the squares and it’s easy to weave to make the circle. My friends and I try to eliminate the deer every year, but it’s a losing battle.
Rather than purchasing mesh from the hardware store there may be a better alternative. The mesh that I frequently see in hardware stores is usually Chinese garbage that has bad welds, inaccurately spaced wires and is overpriced.
The alternative is to search out a rebar fabricator in your town. Almost all rebar fabricators stock the 150 ft rolls of 6x6 / W1.4xW1.4 WWF (Welded Wire Fabric) that the OP was referring to and they are happy to sell to the general public for cash sales. This mesh is also frequently stocked in 7’x20’ sheets. Cutting the mesh is easy with a cheap pair of bolt cutters.
All rebar shops will also cut and bend bars to any shape or length that you could possibly need including arcs and hoops. If you want to weld the rebar make sure to tell the shop to supply grade A706 steel.
If you have a project that needs heavier wire size and/or closer spacing most large shops have heavier meshes available in 7’x20’ sheets.
A hand held grinder is a cheap and easy way to cut that stuff and doubles as a way to smooth sharp edges if that’s a concern.
Many suggest this stuff for tomato cages, I may try it at some point. I just have a lot of cages at present.
The Tractor Supply Welded Wire.
No, they are just saving you work by helping you prune the tree to grow above the browse line. If you use 10-12’ of 5’ fencing for a cylinder, plenty enough foliage will be left to generate vigor if everything else is good.
Now that I think about it, that must be what you actually mean- that you can’t use narrow cylinders. .
Bob, I’ve used both, concrete wire and “horse fencing”. Hands down the concrete wire is easier to use. First, the concrete wire is rigid enough to stand without posts, all you need to do is pin it to the ground in a couple of places with edging pins. Second it is strong enough that deer can’t push it down to reach branches (although they can reach in the 6x6" holes if the fencing is too close to the tips).
It does rust, but I find that to be an asset, as rusty metal tends to disappear when you are looking at your orchard, whereas the galvanized stuff sticks out visually.
It is more expensive than the horse fencing (although maybe not if you add in the cost of T posts), but has done a much better job for me. Only possible plus for the horse fencing is the graduated size of the holes vertically may keep adult rabbits out.
Your deer must be more aggressive than our northeastern specimens. I’ve protected hundreds of young trees over the years with a 5’ tall 14 gauge fencing cut to 10-12’ lengths. Yes, I have to use a single post. but that makes it easier to open up the cage and pull it away from the tree. I’ve never lost a single tree to deer damage even if they browse the leaves close to the fence, and throwing a 50’ roll around won’t give me a hernia. Any wire cutter will cut it and much more quickly than a bolt cutter can. As far as the quality of the Chinese product- when I started my business it was all American and better quality- I notice the difference but the deer do not.
I have customers that use the heavy stuff and they have to tie it closed with other wire because it is too stiff to open with your fingers and it is generally just more effort to deal with for me- but this is business for me and time is money.