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What actually works for animal protection

 
Michael Qulek
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You've probably seen some of my other posts where I've complained about all the animal damage to my trees. Deer strip the leaves, mice peel the bark, and squirrels and raccoons eat the fruit. On tree was completely knocked over by a bear. Finally a have an answer to protect my fruit from preditation. My wife's nylon stockings! Here's a pic of a Stanley plum with the branch covered with a stocking (uh, knee high).


Here is whats under the nylon

This is the one and only branch on the tree that still has fruit on it. The rest of the tree is stripped bare. As are almost all the other trees in my orchard.

Put the nylon on while the fruit were still tiny and green. Think they'll be ripe in a few more weeks.

The most amusing part was when I asked my wife for some of her stockings. You should have seen the look she gave me!
 
Dillon Nichols
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Location: Victoria BC
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Awesome solution, but you'll need an entire boutique worth to do a small orchard! I can see the headlines now... 'Stocking thief hung out to dry! Culprit given away by bizarre display in orchard; Is he a tree fetishist, or simply mad? Says despondent wife: I should have seen it coming!'


While we haven't been hit quite as badly as you describe, this year we got 0 gooseberries, 0 blueberries, 0 currants, 0 haskap berries, perhaps a pint of cherries from 5 trees, and essentially no strawberries... Seems like the only fruit we get any of is plums, apples, and raspberries, where we have such a glut the critters can't keep up. If we don't attempt to grow such a quantity, we might as well grow none.

My theory on animal deterrence involves dogs, cats, a shotgun, a big freezer, a lack of nosy neighbours, bone salve, two layers of fencing, blackberry hedges, and possibly claymores Unfortunately none of this will be implemented anytime soon.
 
shane jennings
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Wait until after Halloween to buy clearance monster motion detectors. When the animal gets close, the motion detector will scare them away.
 
Bill Erickson
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shane jennings wrote:Wait until after Halloween to buy clearance monster motion detectors. When the animal gets close, the motion detector will scare them away.


I've heard of that use. Have you tried it yourself and did it work? You can always disconnect the talking/lighting part and only have the motion part.
 
shane jennings
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I have not personally done this myself, but remembered seeing a YouTube video that said motion detectors worked.
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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There are quite a few devices and methods available you just have to look and research to see what is effective for your situation. Flashing lights, high frequency noise devices, motion activated noise and/or movement etc. Google is your friend.
 
Troy Rhodes
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There are motion activated sprinkler systems that are reported to be good for deer.

I have a lot of deer/coon/squirrel problems. The multi prong approach has been pretty successful.

Tree tubes for the newly planted trees. Nice little side benefit, the trees grow faster because of the microclimate.


My 'main' orchard/garden is surrounded by a 6' electric fence with a plug in (not battery) charger. Touching the electrified fence is...memorable.

I have an agreement with the deer, if they jump the fence, I shoot them.


The coons figured out how to time the fence by listening for the snap. Too smart for their own good. I now have a very successful trapping program for racoons, and that has helped a lot.


 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I use small fenced areas. If the area is small it looks like a trap and the deer don't jump into it. My kitchen garden fence is only 5 feet tall but deer have never entered it, and we sometimes have herds of a dozen or more deer come right near this garden. So far so good and this garden has been in place for nearly a decade. We're beginning to put small fenced areas surrounding our homestead, which we call "bubbles," to replant natives that have been grazed or browsed to extinction on this old ranch land. So far it is working wonderfully and I plan to try a food forest using the same technique of small fenced areas connected to each other. Yes it's more trouble and expense to put up extra fencing, but nothing to the expense and heartbreak of losing trees to animal attack.

 
Tobias Joseph
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Tracy Kuykendall wrote:There are quite a few devices and methods available you just have to look and research to see what is effective for your situation. Flashing lights, high frequency noise devices, motion activated noise and/or movement etc. Google is your friend.


They've worked for us.. to a large extent.

Most of them solar powered... some kits might allow you to extend that grid further away, but many of them don't. And you certainly can't get away with just using one in many cases. Cost wise.. you might be better off with trying to create your own or creating mirror boxes, working out a system of reflection to expand its use. Albeit, again, many of the solar models designed for this sort of thing.. just don't produce enough light to adequately reflect.. so, keep that in mind, too. (some of the security models do, though.)


We're experimenting with creating an outlier of "bad wood" with the hugelkultur method... a spacer between an attempt with growing brambles lining the forest's edge surrounding our property.. worse comes to worse, we're not opposed to exaggerated beds of mint and other herbs. (maybe an extreme, a little less problematic than fantasizing about encouraging the local pyromaniacs to set it all ablaze. There's been several initiatives to take out the bulk of the wild growth and replant it... but it always falls through in the last inning.)

We're also casually playing with an interior with cold hardy bamboo, both runners and clumpers... exploring different methods of control and growth with the hopes (if it works well enough where we are) to create a natural hedge wall for the whole of the property... as well as potentially farming it. Or just one more quirk, distraction to play with.
 
Travis Philp
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Irish spring soap bars worked against deer, and presumably raccoons too because they are everywhere here. Now...after about 4 months they started to munch round the edges of the garden but i grew peas lettuce and parsnips without any predation inside of that 4 months, which I was told by 4 other people who had grown there before, would be impossible. I hear you're supposed to change the type of soap every few months; the theory being that the deer get used to the scent after a while

A little tip is to cut the bar in half or in thirds so that you can cover more area with each bar of soap. Irish spring is cheap at dollar stores and so is ribbon.

To post the soap bars around the perimeter of my garden... I gathered sticks from the forest that were about 4 - 6 feet tall. I used the ribbon to tie the soap bars to the stick, and placed a stick every 20 feet. It's ideal to have soap as close as 3 feet apart but this is unrealistic for any large sized garden. for my nut orchard I plan to place the bars at each tree, because they are planted 40-50 feet apart.

Every week or so I'd check the perimeter for fallen soap. Make sure to bury your sticks in as deep as possible.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Location: Volant, PA
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The great American sock tree in its full glory......
 
Russell Olson
Posts: 179
Location: Zone 4 MN USA
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I have intense deer pressure on everything on my property.
Fences so far are the only thing that works, 8' around my gardens and trees.

I've experimented somewhat successfully with a brushwall barrier, essentially a 10' x 8' high pile of scrub brush and dead trees thickly piled high around my forest garden/reforestation area. The brush is piled at the top of hills when possible to increase the difficulty of clearing it.
It has so far kept my few hundred chestnut/apple/etc seedlings safe from ADULT deer.
I had a fawn slip through the underbrush and nip almost every tree, that was in may or june, but no issues since.
 
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