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protecting trees in goat paddocks

 
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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Our goats are doing a great job of opening up our forest. There are some smaller trees and shrubs we would like to keep though. We have put concrete mesh (6" squares of ~1/8th" wire, 7 1/2'tall) around most of our fruit trees. It's stiff enough that the goats and deer can't push in to get to the trees. It's heavy enough that I haven't had to stake it unless it was on a slope. The problem is it's pricey $300 for 200'. Any suggestions?
 
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
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We use re-mesh too, covered with whatever smaller meshed screen we can find (snow fence is pretty cheap and works well over re-mesh). Contact local concrete contractors as they usually order in bulk and can either get it for you or tell you who has it cheap. Metal recyclers and fencing companies always have used fence they'll sell you cheap. We pay .50 a pound, or about .50 a foot.

Another thing we do is wrap trees in hardware cloth or fine chicken wire once their too high to browse. Just staple it on. Works really well and is easier and cheaper than constructing tubes from remesh.
 
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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For this purpose I mostly used electric fence. Since I was fencing young planted trees, one thing I did was put a metal trash can or barrel, bottomless, around each tree, propped up on three pieces of glass, heavy plastic, or something like that and then attach electric fence to it so the whole piece of metal was electrified. For trees with more height, I'd put a triangle of wire around each one...but that was for goats trained to respect electric fence fully. To do this, bait the wire!
 
gardener
Posts: 2325
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I don't know if this would be useful in other places, but it is a very popular technique in Ladakh, where there are lots of voracious goats and not much forage, so trees need to be protected very VERY well. In Ladakh, when people have to plant trees out in the unprotected outdoors, not inside an enclosure, they collect old tin cans, cut both ends off, and run those around the trunks. Since we're mostly planting willows and poplars, which can be planted as simple cuttings, it is very easy because there are no branches so you can just plop them over the top after you've planted the cuttings. We plant cuttings at least four feet high so you can leave the top uncovered but it will be out of reach of browsing animals. The cans tend to rust and fall apart before the tree grows fat enough to cause a problem; sometimes the cans stay intact and you have to cut them after a few years, but in a moister climate than Ladakh's total aridity, that shouldn't be a problem.
 
Posts: 42
Location: Central FL
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Rebecca Norman wrote:I don't know if this would be useful in other places, but it is a very popular technique in Ladakh, where there are lots of voracious goats and not much forage, so trees need to be protected very VERY well. In Ladakh, when people have to plant trees out in the unprotected outdoors, not inside an enclosure, they collect old tin cans, cut both ends off, and run those around the trunks. Since we're mostly planting willows and poplars, which can be planted as simple cuttings, it is very easy because there are no branches so you can just plop them over the top after you've planted the cuttings. We plant cuttings at least four feet high so you can leave the top uncovered but it will be out of reach of browsing animals.



Interesting - that's the only idea I've ever heard of that'll cost you less $6/tree. What stops goats from bending the tree down and knocking the cans off (or from breaking the tree) though? Is there something like a t-post?

 
Rebecca Norman
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Posts: 2325
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
638
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
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In Ladakh the willow and poplar cuttings are always at least an inch diameter, often more, and four or five feet tall (above ground), so they can't be bent over. The bark-eating marauders are goats, donkeys, cows, and yak-cow hybrids, and are very resourceful (hungry) critters.

Before tin cans were so numerous, and also sometimes now, people collect seabuckthorn branches and strap them around the new saplings with scrap rope and wire. Also a free solution! But you have to use quite a bulky bundle of thorn branches to be safe.

To make sure animals can't nudge the cans up, you can sew them with scrap wire. Before putting them on the saplings, pop a couple holes in each one with a nail, and then string or twist-tie one to the next. Another solution is to stuff a couple of sticks in there along with the cutting, so if animals nudge their way in they only reach a dead stick, and those will break down in time.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3844
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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http://www.treeprotectionsupply.com/

This is what lots of rich hunters use for deer protection. They also simulate partial shade so the trees grow UP faster. They are not cheap.

Re-mesh is a good buy in the long run if you can re-use it for multiple plantings.
 
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we just use scrap wire mesh but i love the tin can suggestion! my only concern is that it could get really hot? i am still trying to figure out how to fence some young grapes in a way that isn’t really ugly…they are growing up an arbour so prone to goats standing up and knocking what they can down. probably a tiny scrap picket fence with pieces of wood supports coming off the post to stop it getting crushed? i’d like to do more with woven willow. i have some comfrey that gets eaten out of existence that need a cage…all the wire is just too much so i need to get my weaving skills up to speed.

they are such great browsers/clearers even when you don’t want them to be!
 
Posts: 75
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
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elisa rathje wrote:we just use scrap wire mesh but i love the tin can suggestion! my only concern is that it could get really hot? ...



Paint the cans white with a non-toxic paint like chalk paint. Its very sturdy outdoors and adheres well to metal with no prep (can even be used on outdoor furniture).
The white would reflect light and keep the tree trunk from overheating.
 
elisa rathje
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Jeanne Wallace wrote:

Paint the cans white with a non-toxic paint like chalk paint. Its very sturdy outdoors and adheres well to metal with no prep (can even be used on outdoor furniture).
The white would reflect light and keep the tree trunk from overheating.



good point! i have been a huge fan of chalk paint but recently made the galling discovery that like most paints (and i want to know exceptions and recipes…milk paint?) it contains polymer, as in, plastic, so the microplastic shedding is disappointingly real.

i do occasionally buy a canned tomato which is in a white can…

thanks jeanne!
 
pollinator
Posts: 558
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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A few strands of electric fencing has worked well for me. Started with wood posts, but they rotted too quickly. I have a mix of PVC conduit (works in our loam but wouldn’t anywhere with rocks, and fiberglass step ins.  Both seem to be holding up well.  I string an overhead wire and run drop lines to each tree.
 
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elisa rathje wrote:
good point! i have been a huge fan of chalk paint but recently made the galling discovery that like most paints (and i want to know exceptions and recipes…milk paint?) it contains polymer, as in, plastic, so the microplastic shedding is disappointingly real.

i do occasionally buy a canned tomato which is in a white can…

thanks jeanne!



I've found this information....

You could  use lime milk for whitewashing fruit trees .
Such lime should be dissolved in water in the amount of 2 kg per 10 l of water. So that lime is not washed away too quickly from tree trunks during rain, it is worth adding substances that improve its adhesion (a little clay or cowberry to it)
 
pollinator
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Drainage pipes can be a good option you split them and slide them onto trees, I use 100mm ones for smaller trees and 150 for bigger trees.

20220507_184511.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20220507_184511.jpg]
 
elisa rathje
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Ela La Salle wrote:

elisa rathje wrote:
good point! i have been a huge fan of chalk paint but recently made the galling discovery that like most paints (and i want to know exceptions and recipes…milk paint?) it contains polymer, as in, plastic, so the microplastic shedding is disappointingly real.

i do occasionally buy a canned tomato which is in a white can…

thanks jeanne!



I've found this information....

You could  use lime milk for whitewashing fruit trees .
Such lime should be dissolved in water in the amount of 2 kg per 10 l of water. So that lime is not washed away too quickly from tree trunks during rain, it is worth adding substances that improve its adhesion (a little clay or cowberry to it)



thanks ela!
 
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