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Best netting for fruit trees

Posted by Drew51 6a SE MI (My Page) on
Wed, May 1, 13 at 8:43

I was just wondering if any netting was better than others, and where is a good place to purchase such netting? I use a rather cheap netting currently. In the future I'm going to need a lot more. I added 6 fruit trees this year. So what do you use?


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, May 1, 13 at 10:00

I use woven black polypropylene 30% shade cloth. It doesn't snag on branches or fruit like the bird netting. And it will also exclude things like hail, Jap beetles, stink bugs, and most fruit stealing critters.

If your only concern is birds, the bird netting is lighter weight and therefore easier to support.

It is much more economical to cover a large area of closely planted trees rather than single plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: support system for bird netting


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Thanks, the shade cloth makes sense for my cherries with the Japanese beetles loving them. I did group them together. I have 4 groups of trees in 2 locations. Sweet cherries, tart cherries, and 2 hedge rows of peach, nectarine, and, Interspecifics. No Japanese beetles in the city where the hedgerows are. I have grown grapes in the city for 35 years and not one beetle has ever shown up. Nobody grows anything in the burbs! Nothing to attract them.Well not much a few ornamental cherry trees.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Wed, May 1, 13 at 12:48

I tried shade cloth for bird netting and didn't have good results with it myself.

It's a white shade cloth (I think 50%). I remember it was expensive - over 200 bucks. I just tried it on one peach tree and it caused that tree to ripen later than normal and I didn't feel like the fruit was quite as sweet (didn't take any brix measurements). It did completely keep the birds off the tree.

Last year I tried the shade cloth on some blackberries and it was really hot under there. It was 100F outside and hotter under the shade cloth. Cooked the berries.

I'd listen more to Fruitnut though, he seems to make the whole greenhouse/shade cloth thing work for him. I haven't figured it out.

I mostly use that really cheap bird netting for my trees. I have a bunch of those cheap nets. They suck because they snag on everything and tear easily. At first I tried mending them with thread, but that takes a ton of time. Now I just tape the big tears closed and it works for a while.

Good quality netting is available but it costs a lot, so I just use the crappy ones - but I hate them. Gets me in a bad mood just thinking about it.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

"Good quality netting is available but it costs a lot, so I just use the crappy ones - but I hate them. Gets me in a bad mood just thinking about it."

Ha!! Yes, it is a challenge to grow anything. Many of my plants suffered from freeze, potted tropical's I put outside. I hope they all make it. Most are over 30 years old!
I'm kicking myself, from now on no plants outside till May 1st! (today!)
I have some problem fruits to net too, like Elderberries.
I'm going to make some cages I think for the smaller plants.
At first the local birds really didn't know what I had. But they soon learned! The only fruit untouched is yellow raspberries, even the squirrels seemed confused. I saw one looking at the fruit, but it never took any. The other day some animal ate my tomato plants! Argh I grew them from seed! No fruit, they just destroyed the plants, no sign of pieces, they must have ate them!?
They left one, for some reason one was untouched?
I have a couple grafted tomato plants coming, they better not touch them! I should make the dog stay outside!
The dog didn't do it for sure, as he was up north with my wife when it happened.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

I use bird scare. It works for me. Just tie it on when needed then untie and take it off when the fruit is no more. Does not damage branches. I also use it on my grapes. I use the silver/red.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Seven Springs Organics offers 15' wide rolls and pieces of woven green with white stripes (to help position it) netting for a reasonable price. I sew two pieces of 30' long pieces together to make a net large enough (30X30') for a mature semi-dwarf tree. Much, much better than mono-filament and worth the extra price because you can use a piece for several years.

This stuff doesn't snag too much and one person can net a tree in about 15 minutes with a pole and a step ladder. A little longer with just a pole. Quicker to take off. No frame needed- put it right over the tree.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Excellent, thanks all for the tips!


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

I just put a 30 by 30 piece of green netting http://www.americannettings.com/our-bird-netting-products/
over a sweet cherry using 2 16' adjustable painters poles from Lowes. The green netting was much easier to use than that cheap black plastic bird netting (that i can't even take out of the package and fully open before swearing i will never use it again because it tangles on anything)! I don't know if i will get the ~4 seasons use of the netting, but at least i got it up around the tree!


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

So do you use the poles to hold the net? Do you tie it to the base of the tree? Or do you Stake it to the ground?
I should have taken netting 101, or bought netting for dummies.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

I tie mine to the trunk of the tree- tight so a bird can't get in.

Garedneck, thank you for the link- been looking for 30' wide.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

"tie mine to the trunk of the tree- tight so a bird can't get in. "

OK, that was what I did in the past, I saw a video. So are the pole(s) just to assist you or do you leave them in? I didn't use poles, my tree was small but it's getting there!
Thanks all again too for not just help here, but for everything! I'm going to use the scare tape too, only 5 bucks at Growing Organic, I have fruit all over the place!


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

H-man, I went to the Seven Springs site. The netting looks really good. How much smaller are the holes on the netting than the cheap plastic regular, nasty bird netting that I've been using? I have to carefully cut off the netting I place on my trees. Soooo time consuming. Will this netting work in a better fashion? Thanks, Mrs. G


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Spread the netting out completely near the tree you want to cover. Attach the end of one extended pole to one corner of the net closest to the tree and the other pole to the other corner next closest to the tree. One person at each pole lifts the net up and gets the netting tight like a tennis net. Third person holds the netting on the ground between the two to help jiggle netting. Pole people lift net up and over tree allowing net to drape evenly around tree. Run string throughout net mesh at bottom of tree to form a drawstring bag and tie to trunk. Smile smugly at birds.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Cool! Thanks so much!


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Garedneck, where did you buy your netting? Many thanks, Mrs. G


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Mrs. G. not sure how much smaller the holes are but the material doesn't tangle nearly as much as the black stuff. Check the picture here- I think garedneck may have a better source because it comes in 30 wide pieces so you don't have to sew pieces together which would save considerable time.

Once I have a couple posts set up with nails in them to hold stretched netting it takes me about 15 min. to sew two pieces together.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

H-man and Garedneck. I went to Garedneck's web site and bought it for each tree of stone fruit. I am thrilled to find this netting and will report after it arrives. Since I severly pruned my 'Montmorency' cherry it will be much easier to cover the tree with this netting. The black stuff, had birds tangled in it three times last summer, which was very sad for the birds. Ugh, hate that bit. Thank you to you both for your 'netting' solution! Mrs.
G


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Well I'm glad I posted this thread, seems a lot of us were in need of a better product! I too will order this net! I need others too for other fruits.


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Too bad I didn't find that source sooner, I think I have about 600 ft of 15' wide netting to sew before I will be able to try out the 30' wide stuff. Think I'll let 7 springs know as well-they need the sources source.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

We net extensively. We take 17" bird netting (about 50'), fold it in half lenght wise and sew it together using plastic baling twine. To put it over the trees, we use 1.5" 10' pvc pipe with a 90 degree fitting on the top (doesn't snag the netting). Open the net in front of the tree, fold it in half, pick up the fold using the poles and put it to the center of the tree, then unfold the net over the other side of the tree. THen use clothes pins to tie it together around the trunk, clothes pins can also be used to fix any holes. Do not wear anything with buttons, and smooth sloed shoes to reduce snagging, beer helps the irritation caused by bird netting.

At a show I saw white netting with very small holes which had high light transference, was thinking of trying some to keep the stink bugs out.

Eric


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Hi Eric. What is the source, 'name' of the white netting, please. Thanks, Mrs. G


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

If you have lizards in your area, be careful they will get caught and die.
Tim


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

  • Posted by skyjs z8 OR, USA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 5, 13 at 1:39

Be careful to take it off when the cherries are done. Mine got more disease when I left it on all through the fall and winter.
John S
PDX OR


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

Netting should be left on trees for as short a time as possible if there is no frame involved. The weight of the netting and just its presence distorts the growth of the tree.


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I figured i would watch for signs of the birds or other animals getting through the net as the cherries ripen, and if that moment comes, i have a second net i will put over the existing net, but all netting once most of the cherries are harvested will be removed.

I have a scare crow motion activated sprinkler, but wouldn't want to use it for long as the water will probably cause problems for the tree and cherries.

Each year we get to improve our techniques!


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

  • Posted by bencjedi 6 - Central Kentucky (My Page) on
    Sun, May 5, 13 at 23:12

I wish I had seen this thread a couple days ago. Three hours of effort to cover my one Montmorency cherry with the 'wildlife netting' from Tractor Supply.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sat, May 11, 13 at 12:16

It takes me and a helper about 15 minutes to birdblock a BYOC tree. All bets are off if you're growing behemoths. There is a picture on the package of a guy using a pole to drape the netting over a tree. And that's all there is to it really. Me and a helper each with 10' green coated poles from Home Depot, slowly, patently draping and positioning the netting. I then use twist ties to gather it up at the bottom, or add another piece to patch up a gap.

At $20 for a 14'x45' roll, it is plenty expensive as it is. I really like that $60 netting that looks to be woven with old world craftsmanship, but I can't justify the cost. The cheaper stuff works well enough for me.

Birdblock is catchy, grabby stuff for sure, but you've just got be patient and somewhat gentle, not herky-jerky with it. Just like pruning, grafting or any other BYOC skill, over time you start to get a feel for it.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

  • Posted by bencjedi 6 - Central Kentucky (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 1, 13 at 21:32

Just wanted to report that I went ahead and ordered the net that garedneck was showing in their post. I found a good source and ordered direct from them here". I ordered the easy-fit 17ft x 100ft for $49.99 + $12.97 shipping. I was able to cut off a piece for my line of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and grapes and have PLENTY to spare. I'd say for the backyard gardener this is great value. The netting resisted snagging and was MUCH easier to use than the cheap black netting you see at Home Depot and Lowes. The AviGard net rolls right out. Easy!

My 'friends' are already pissed about it:

I used the 'feet' of a junked trampoline for the upside down 'U' supports I made to hold the net up over the grapes and backberries since they tend to outgrow the netting and make it a pain to remove at the end of harvest.

Here is a link that might be useful: AviGard® Easy Fit™


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

I also have been eyeing this from raintree. 22' wide by however long you want for $1.50 per foot.

http://www.raintreenursery.com/Heavy_Duty_Bird_Netting_by_The_Foot.html


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

  • Posted by bencjedi 6 - Central Kentucky (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 14:31

Here's the link to the Raintree Nursery netting

The durability sounds excellent, but pricier per length than the AviGard from Plantra. 5ft wider is definitely an advantage though.


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RE: Best netting for fruit trees

http://www.americannettings.com/our-bird-netting-products/

This turns out to be the best bird netting I have ever used. It is perfect for fruit trees. It is easy to put on and take off. I highly recommend it and am prepared to purchase more for my trees next years. For a tree that is 10' tall by 8'wide I used two pieced that were 15' long and about five feet wide. I over lapped two pieces per tree in a criss-cross fashion and not one piece of fruit it missing. So far! Mrs. G PS. the netting is also green making it very attractive. I love the fact that it is reusable.


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