This is the second year my romance series bush cherries have produced cherries, and this is the second year the robins ate them all. They take them before they are fully ripe. I tried a cheap bird net but they must have been so desperate for cherries that they found the tiniest holes to squeeze in. What are others doing to protect bush cherries from birds? Is there a good type of net you recommend, or perhaps some sort of frame to mount a net on that I can build? Thanks.
Robins always prefer mulberries to cherries. Plant a mulberry tree and forget about needing to do anything else. I didn’t lose a single cherry this year. Have cardinals that some years like a few but i have so many cherries i never even notice if they eat a few.
For what it’s worth I have given up covering a whole tree. I only wrap a branch that has lots of fruit.
I get a branch and wrap the branch with netting, like a swiss roll. Tie it at the branch end, and at the tip end.
The netting I use (in uk) is scaffolding debris netting. Very fine netting, with about 20% shading.
Sadly, the answer is to get better at netting. They would ravage my haskaps if it wasn’t for netting and every season one or two manage to get past the net and I manage to catch them infraganti. That is still not enough to cause meaningful damage.
The tree cages @Richard made are very nice. If you want something cheap and easy but only for large branches these bush bags work. Here’s one I just did today on peach tree braches.
Do you have a link to where you got those bush bags? Do they have a drawstring on the bottom?
That would be great. I actually planted 2 mulberry trees a few years ago, Illinois Everbearing, but I am in zone 3b so right on the edge of mulberries being possible I think. The first few years they grew 6’ in a summer but then died back to the roots in the winter. This year the top survived the winter. I don’t know if that’s because the winter conditions were more favorable or if the root has gotten bigger and is able to better supply what the tree needs. We’ll see what this winter holds. But it would be great if I could actually get mulberries to grow here, doubly so if that helps protect the cherries.
I bought mine on Amazon. They do have drawstrings. They come in different sizes and prices. Some have zippers but I don’t need that for my application.
Get a 30’x30’ net to cover entire tree. I really like pe (polyethylene) woven netting. It stretches nicely, is easy to put and remove. You’ll need one or two helpers to put net over a tree. Some nets of this type are advertised as pool leaf covers. Check Amazon for some options., unfortunately nets I got from Amazon this year are no longer available in 30x30 size.
Romance series cherries are not as tall as a cherry tree. That’s the advantage. Covering them is easier than covering a cherry tree. Mine is about 7- 8’ after 5 years.
We built a temporary structure using PVC pipes. The nettings I like are from American Nettings (plural). They are pricier but do not snag like the cheap black nettings from Home Depot.
We used two nettings, one on top of the other because after a few years of usage, they accumulate some holes. The only issue I don’t like about soft nettings is that birds (always try to get in) can get tangled in the nets. We took the structure apart after cherries were picked.
Damn robins just came. Here they migrate so barely any robins for a while until you get a flock on the haskaps. The worst is the amount of waste, lost of mushed up fruit in the ground.
I need to get better netting, my bushes are getting big :-\
I have had success using regular nylon netting to fend off birds–especially the color yellow. I use clothespins to attach netting to my blueberry cages, to my peach tree when it is loaded with peaches, and I hope to adorn my Santa Rosa plum with netting --top to bottom.
Netting comes 72" wide and is cheap from online fabric sellers.
Try it. You might like it.
Could you post pictures of your nettings?