DIY Squirrel Baffle ideas?

Lois, does this help?

https://sheetmetalworld.com/sheet-metal-news/fabrication-tutorials/22-sheet-metal-tutorials/5961-learn-how-to-layout-a-cone-in-sheet-metal

It’s a little mumbely at first but gets clearer when you actually plug in the formula. I suggest you start with a big sheet of poster board!

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Raccoon%20barrier
This uses 3’ wide sheet metal…I could only find 2’ wide metal…My diameter was 15"; I don’t know if that will be enough for a large raccoon.

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Thanks, guys! That makes it much clearer!

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As a life-long scientist, my statement about “studies showing a vertical jumping height of four feet” was very un-scientific of me, since I have been unable to find the source for the claim “studies show the eastern grey squirrel has a vertical jumping height of 4 feet” that is posted on the internet.
I suspect you know more about the jumping abilities of the eastern grey squirrel more than any scientist though.
The original 5" pipe to my bird feeder was set at 4 feet. I had one squirrel that would jump and be able to propel himself from friction (I assume) for a few inches up the pipe to reach the feeder. Now my pipe is 5 feet and I hadn’t had one reach the bird feeder in years. Your squirrels may have developed extra-ordinary jumping skills from selective breeding. Are you using cone baffles or pipes? I just feel that as long as the bottom of the cone is at least 4’ from the ground it would stop most non-Olympian squirrel (Pipes I feel need to be higher).
Squirrel-proofing 101: Four common methods of keeping squirrels out of your birdseed - YouTube

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I actually use both because lots of times first branches begin start too low for squirrels so I create a cone using the scaffold branches if I can’t afford to cut them.

When I have a straight trunk of at least 4’ I may be able to get away with a greased cylinder about 32" long- for coons no grease is needed and usually they won’t reach beyond about 3’ to get to wood.

The cylinders can be installed in about 5 minutes, tops, when you have materials ready, but making the cones against branches is a bit of an acquired skill that my assistant is amazingly adept at since I’ve had him do most of the baffling the last few years. I’d say 15 minutes is the most time he spends on the most complex of systems which I can’t really describe.

My wife has been attempting to get photos from my phone to this topic for the last hour. For some reason there’s something wrong with my phone.

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![image000000%20(1)|690x920] (upload://5d88DRaHtfre0xMBzD6xudkZs6a.jpeg)

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Wow…Interesting. Where did you get the material for your inverse cones?

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My wife accidentally put up two of the same photos. The top flashing is the thinnest 20" wide stuff home depot carries and the lowest is pre-painted 24". Together they provide enough distance. Lower baffle is stapled on first. We painted the aluminum of the upper part with spray paint after installation. Then we paint the whole thing with a blend of tan axle grease (the red is SO ugly) and motor oil so it’s not too thick but has some staying power. Straight grease actually provides traction on cool nights, apparently. I use a 1 gallon container with a screw top to shake mix the oil and grease combo- best done in the warmth of day.

Sorry, I have no pictures of straight cylinders.

The single picture is what we do with hardest to protect trees. Squirrels can keep going up narrow cylinders and remove the grease, but they’ve yet to defeat the wide cylinders (much wider than most trunks) that start at the ground so squirrels won’t slip between aluminum and the trunk. Like rats they don’t need much space and chipmunks need almost nothing.

We used to use duct pipe, but it is a PIA to work with. It’s the more standard method and you can purchase 5’ lengths of it at HD.

It’s much easier for squirrels to muscle up a narrow diameter baffle. But if you keep it greased they rarely defeat them.

I protect hundreds of trees this way every year.

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Beautiful orchard, BTW.

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His squirrels are among the Olympians. When a branch bends with fruit below about 5.5 feet they jump aboard. Located in Greenwich CT.

You should see the rest of his property, he has me manage about 15 pretty big apple trees against a stone wall in the middle of a very formal, highly maintained French style landscape.

Someday I will post a picture of those apple trees, they are so beautiful in their location.

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Thanks Alan for posting pictures of your method.

I did that several years ago and it was effective against a chipmunk that was stealing peaches.

Managing tree vigor must be a task in such places with that high input grass.

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Actually, typical of many homes in the area, they only added enough top soil to assure turf would survive (which is hilarious given the cost of the home). The trees in that area are not excessively vigorous, the problem is a row of Maples to the south of the trees closing out the canopy by about 5’ a year. Light is already inadequate and plums suffer a lot of black knot.

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Glad you posted these photos.

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These baffles all but saved my business. Customers will only pay so much for so long for nicely pruned fruit trees that are barren of fruit.

Where I am, customers without deer fencing need the high branches anyway.

I’m surprised none of my customers ever opt for an electric deterrent so we could maintain a pedestrian orchard. It’s partially because it isn’t a service I offer and fence companies around here don’t either.

BTW, at that Greenwich property the squirrels and chipmunks take all the apples every other year or so. The baffles can’t work there because trees are against a wall. Because it’s the middle of the property I’d have to make the baffles more attractive to be acceptable anyway.

If squirrels liked green apples as much as green peaches or pears, they’d never get any apples. I grafted Honeycrisp and Ginger Gold on a couple of the apple trees and he’s only tasted either one on a single season when the squirrel population had crashed.

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Too bad that cats are totally un-trainable…My cat is only interested in hunting squirrels five minutes a day…The rest of the time she is laying around being totally useless.

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Some dogs are amazing at controlling squirrels in their territory. One of my major clients had one of those, but lyme disease and old age have cost me that alliance.

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Decided to make a squirrel baffle for my peach tree.
This one is working out ok so far. I have a layer of grease on the trunk and baffle.

This one didn’t work too well since it’s too low to the ground. Had to put the metal wire back. But it’s no game for squirrels. At least it takes time to finish it.

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My squirrels will usually jump 5’ to reach the first limb. some olympians jump 6.5’

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This seems to be working for raccoons:

I left the chair a little closer than that and there were raccoon prints on the chair and lower edge of the upper roll, but not higher.

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Coons and possums don’t compete in the high jumping categories. What may surprise you is that woodchucks really can leap quite high. A very sane and sober client of mine claims he saw a fat one jump 5’ to beat a baffle on peach tree I manage for him. Fortunately, they don’t tend to eat a whole lot of peaches in a day- only 2 or 3 based on what I’ve seen on my property.

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