I grow elderberries, need bird netting advice

Hi, Last season the catbirds ate my elderberries when they were very tiny and green, just after flowering. So now im searching for netting but im not sure what to buy. The problem is i would need 25ft wide netting and ideally 100ft. long. Im not sure if 3/4" mesh will prevent the catbirds from getting in. Im on a tight budget and looking for good quality netting at good price.
The closest i can find to those dimensions is Avigard 28’x100’ from Seven Springs Farm Supply.
And then there’s nylon, hdpe uv protected. I think i have netting overload! What would work for me?
I want it to last a few yrs.

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For elderberries, I buy the five-gallon paint strainer mesh bags and slip them over the entire head of berries and then synch it lightly to the stem with a small cable tie. I usually select about 10-15 heads to protect and having them on actually seems to scare off some other birds since they’re bobbing around in the breeze, etc.

Here is what I’m talking about using.

Also, we usually use about half the heads as elderflower for syrups, etc.

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Hi zendog, thats a great idea. But i already put a frame up for them. Also i have about 45 plants. So im thinking about going the netting route now.

Ah, that’s a lot to cover. For covering things I’ve used the woven netting from American netting and it has lasted very nicely in the sun and elements. It looks like they have a 30X100 size available.

It looks like Seven Springs only has the long life, not the extra long life netting available in the size you want, so I’d be concerned with having to replace it more often. You probably know this, but if you get the cheaper black stuff, not only does it tangle, but you’ll more than likely be pulling dead birds out of it once in a while. I’ve never caught one in my woven netting from American netting and I expect the stuff you’re looking at would be about the same in that regard.

I love elderberries for jelly and a bunch of other stuff, but I can’t imagine processing the berries from 45 plants! Do you have a good technique for getting all the stems out quickly?

That looks like decent netting, same thing as Avigard. The weight seems too light, .07/sq yd. I think i will call them on Monday. Now i need a coupon code! Anyone?
I only grow Marge variety. Its a vigorous, self pollinating, compact hybrid that doesnt run all over. It has large berries approx. 3x bigger than traditional varieties. The bigger berries make it easier to strip them off. I just bought a commercial dehydrator too. I was going to try snipping the stem very closely and just laying them in the dehydrator, stem and all. It may be easier to get them off after this process?? I dont know but im going to try it out.


ive been wanting Marge but all my nurseries that carry it are out of stock. any chance i could trade with you for a half doz. cuttings? i likely have something you might be interested in. bigger berries should make it easier to separate the berries from the stems once frozen.

Hey Steve, yea i could ship you some cuttings. What do you have that i might be interested in?

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I am working on a theory that i read awhile back… and that is to interplant native or seedlings for the birds.

Most wild elderberries are where they are due to birds… my theory is that they will overlook the larger berries in favor of the smaller ones.

I also have thickets of wild blackberries, raspberries, black rasps and wineberries…which they prefer over my cultivars…and spread them for their own habitats.

Devils walking stick is another addition to my things for the birds…in defense of my elderberry cultivars.


i have over 60 types of fruit. tell me what you may be interested in and ill let you know if i have it. got currants of many types . many types of raspberry, sour cherry, white/red nanking cherry, 2 types rhubarb, goumi, 4 types blueberry, 4 types of honeyberry, autumn olive, gooseberry, black ice plum etc… many others i dont remember off the top of my head.