Result of homemade screen fruit protector

Cut into rectangular and fold. Staple sides together , very easy to make . easy to install. I think it it an easiest way to offend the squirrels.

Excellent job!

Good job!

I’m going to try that next year.They took the Asian Pears with plastic baggies covering. Brady

1:0 - Round One :grin:

Great idea! I’ll be resorting to this defense next year. Do you protect Asian Pears like this as well? Mine seemed not being discovered by squirrels yet. :neutral_face:

I am thinking about use them on my Asian pear since it is getting ripe and will draw squirrel’s attention sooner or later. But in the past, I picked the pears before they are fully ripen so plastic bags worked too.

:smile: how did you load the sticker? as an image?

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It’s an emoji. Lots of sites out there to choose from. Just copy and paste a link into your post.

Watching that all day would be worse than water boarding!! :confused:

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I tried making these screen fruit protectors for a few years about 3 years ago. But my trees were(still are) young and I ended up with the protectors on the ground, fruit spur or branch still attached. I know the local ground squirrels will chew through the plastic mesh (plastic hardware cloth) since they’ve done it plenty of times where I’ve protected vegetables (in containers) with it. I’ve never heard of “pest resistant screen material, that might be easier to use that what I’m currently using, aviary cloth (1/2” chicken wire).

This year I found something that worked…I’m making protector baskets out of aviary cloth and stabilizing them with metal tubing (EMT pipe from Home Depot), so a squirrel can swing from the basket all he want, and won’t be able to pull the fruit spur/branch off the tree.

Here are a few photos…

The two trees are in containers, it’s hard to tell from the photos.

Jbclem are you covering the whole tree with the baskets? I can’t tell from the pics. I used to do something very similar with some stone fruit I grew in pots. I literally built a wood frame and covered it with chicken wire and ran drip to each tree. Each frame had a door and everything. Man what a project!

wow, it does look like a project. For container tree, since it will not be very large, it might be easier to build a permanent chicken wire cage to put the whole tree in.

It’s easier and more economical to build a structure around the whole orchard. Put a door on it and there’s no work other than opening and closing the door. Plant the trees closely on dwarf stock or multigraft on larger trees. I had a structure like this once about 20ft by 20ft. Mostly for grapes and nectarines. Full protection from birds and hail. I even tried covering it with carpet during spring freezes but that was questionable at best even with a flat top. Wish I had a picture. Covering was half inch galvanized hardware cloth.


Yes I caged each tree individualy and wished I had done the whole area instead. I tried the screen bag years ago too. I stapled the mesh over a zip lock and did each fruit. Worked great first year. See on year squirrels ripped off the whole bag many times over. I am going try this again though in my new place and make the bags larger like I see in the pictures. I hope I can make that work.

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One of those trees actually has 3 baskets and the one behind it has one basket. They are in a cramped area with other plants/trees in containers, so this is much easier(and way cheaper) than trying to cover an entire tree.with a nicely made cage. It’s ugly but seems to be effective.

Here’s a photo of a young in-ground pear tree with 3 baskets. The cage around the tree is for deer, and is made from stucco wire. Stucco wire is made in the USA, identical to chicken wire except in it’s quality (much better quality) and cheaper (150’ x 36" roll for around $54) than the chinese chicken wire you buy at Home Depot.

Here’s an alternate way I’m trying this year to protect the fruit. Electric fencing. This photo shows two young plum/pluot trees inside a stucco wire cage with an electrified wire and a ground wire just above the stucco wire. The wire cage also works as a ground. I have these cages around all of my young trees, and I’ll electrify a few more next year.

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I’m having a really hard time figuring out from the pictures exactly what you have done with those baskets bit I am very intrigued!

to me they look like wired pillow cases, that shape at least, and he has the whole tree protected up to 4 feet or so with the outer cage for deer i think he said.

Thanks for the report of success and kudos to MrClint for the idea.

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I make a cylinder with the aviary wire, and slip it over the branch that has the fruit. When I cinch up the ends it looks like a pillow case. I use wire on one end but for easy access to the fruit I’m starting to use clothespins on the other. Squirrels can’t get their mouths through the aviary wire (to take a bite) but with regular chicken wire they can pull the fruit over and nibble away.

Look at the first photo. On the left side you’ll see a cylinder that hasn’t been cinched up yet.

Also…I have an ultra dwarf Pink Lady that was short enough so I could make a cylindrical cage and lift it over the tree…it looked like a fortress. There were six apple ripening on the tree, I watched them grow with pride for a month. Then one day there were five. next day four, then three, then none. Too late I found the hole where a squirrel had dug under the bottom of the cage (concrete form wire with chicken wire wrapped around it and over the top). The ground was nice and soft and slopping where I had cultivated it to be able to level the cylinder…the squirrel is probably still laughing about that. Next time I’ll use some hardware cloth and dig it in around the base.