Bird Pests in Apple Trees


Apple trees are tall, stately trees with a long American tradition. Although there are a wide range of apple tree varieties, they grow across the nation with similar requirements, including sunlight, moisture and some occasional fertilizer. Like all fruit trees, apples also require protection from pests and birds.


According to University of California Davis (UC Davis), several breeds of birds flock to apple trees when they're fruiting, though specific birds may vary depending on the area. Some typical bird pests are sparrows, starlings, crows, finches, jays and magpies.


UC Davis states that the most extensive bird damage comes from birds eating ripe fruit and ruining it. Some birds also feed on flower and fruit buds, and keep flowers and fruit from growing at all.

Organic Controls--Prevention

Prevention provides the best way to keep birds from apple trees. Monitor the orchard at all times to watch for birds moving in, and then use noisemakers to scare them away. Spread netting over the trees to keep birds out without damaging the apple tree's ability to grow and produce fruit.

Organic Controls--Traps and Sprays

Once birds have moved in, UC Davis suggests that they're harder to remove. Trapping offers an effective way of catching birds and moving them away from the apple orchard. They should be carried out by professionals. Spraying bird repellents may also drive birds away from the area.


Birds also prey on grapes, cherries, peaches, plums and figs. Any gardeners seeking to grow a home orchard of any type should add prevention plans. Killing birds is illegal in many areas. A gardener fighting off birds should learn his or her legal rights before starting. Birds are animals of habit, and will return to the same apple orchards year after year once they settle there.

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