Tree cages

This thread is for fruit tree enclosures built with welded-wire fencing and lath or metal struts. For nets, see Netting Fruit Trees.

Last year the mourning doves became interested in the peaches and pluots, but oddly not the apricots or apriums. Later on, the crows decided the persimmons were fair game.

I tried to hire the mockingbirds to drive them away, using worm treat suet for payment. This worked ok for awhile but after mating season was over the mockingbirds left town.

So this year I’m building tree cages. I finished the 1st one today, with more to come. After measuring the perimeter I decided to make 3 sections of 3-4 vertical panels each with cinder block [upgraded to D-rings] anchors, plus a top. The sections overlap by 4-6 inches and are wired together. The top is not wired on but there are ragged-end meshes sticking into it.

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Hope it doesn’t get too windy.

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Impressive

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Nice, but can YOU get into it?

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Yes. I will cut hinged doors in the panels as necessary.

I assume you dismantle it after harvest. Here the snow makes any cages with ceilings seasonal. That makes a lot of extra work. I have found for bushes a circle of 4 or 5’ tall poultry wire pinched together on top with office binder clips sort of works until the bushes get too big. Just don’t let the bushes grow through the wire, or you really have a mess! I used to attach a square of poultry wire securely for a ceiling, but then found it difficult for ME to get in. Then I tried the office binder clips. The open-topped cage needs to stay on year round against rodents and deer. Your place doesn’t look like deer would be a problem. Do you get rabbits there?

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There are cottontails but it is difficult for them to get in the yard. The last time one braved it an owl took it out.

For the next one I’d like to use U-bolts sunken in the tree-ring masonry instead of cinder blocks.

I have a similar deer buster net fence and I use zip ties to enter and exit. zip it shut on way out

The camera angle makes Richard’s cage look about 15’ tall, but I see the posts were eight-footers. Should probably share a little fruit with the neighbors, too. In areas prone to hail, a smaller mesh ceiling might be helpful, too. I used to think you could just plant a fruit tree, maybe spray a few times for bugs, and then harvest. Har! With all the hardware in my garden and orchard, the first time she saw it, my sister said it looked like a squatter’s camp!

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If squirrels were a problem here then I would have chosen 1/2" welded wire mesh.

My father raised fruit trees so I started out a bit wiser. But I see on this site and elsewhere there are folks with low expectations for pests and nutrition requirements.

D-ring upgrade.

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You are working hard for that fruit!

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It seems you’re a go big or go home kinda fruit grower. Full respect

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I sourced my fencing from Critter Fence. It appears to be less expensive than fencerwire.com sells it for but I didn’t check other places that carry the Fencer Wire brand.

Critterfence Black Square 1 Inch Grid (though I purchased the 2" x 2").

My ‘cage’ surrounds the entire orchard, 175 foot perimeter, and will be ‘topped’ with 17-foot wide hex netting that I bought from American Netting, about $200 with shipping for 328 feet.

I’ll post pictures after everything leafs out and I tidy up from spring chores and mount the netting.

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CritterFence:
1" x 2’ x 100’ for $119.95 free shipping
17GA after coating 19GA before coating minimum.

FencerWire:
1" x 2’ x 100’ for $119.98 free shipping
16GA before coating.

Smaller GA = thicker wire.

Very cool.
17’ x 328’ = 5576 sq.ft.
A square with perimeter 175’ is about 1914 sq.ft.

So maybe you already have fencing part way around the orchard?

How high is the 2"x2" fencing you purchased?

Yeah, I was looking at the 7’ width where the price was different and which has, incidentally, gone up $75 a roll since I bought it less than a year ago.

I’d venture the brands are selling nearly identical product despite the advertised thicknesses. How many Chinese vinyl coated wire fence factories can there be?

I did save a little by ripping 2-by pressure treated lumber for posts; and mine are set into the ground though I do envy your Astro-Turf.

I haven’t tallied it up but I’m pretty sure I could swim in fruit juice for what this whole enterprise has cost not even considering the labor.![orchard_2|690x370]

1500 square feet, with another 200 fenced with 5-foot high chicken wire jutting out on the east side. Still a work in progress. I was editing the kmz file to add the rootstocks that I just planted out this weekend.

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Industrious! I love it.

I’m noticing the CritterFence and FencerWire sites have few products in common - at least this year. FencerWire is only offering 2" x 2" in galvanized 4’ x 50’ and 4’ x 100’. For 7’ high vinyl coated you have to step up to 16ga 1.5" x 1.5". No need for that with deer.

Had I not already purchased the netting I would have gone for the 1 x 1. As it is the net will need to drape the fence for birds.

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