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How to Keep Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees

By Ann White ; Updated September 21, 2017

Squirrels can be stubborn and destructive pests in a garden. Feasting on unripened fruit and vegetables, a single family is capable of ruining a home's harvest, and with their impeccable ability to carry disease and parasites, they are not what most gardeners consider a welcome guest.

Trim all tree branches 6 feet from the ground and any structures such as the roof. This deters squirrels from noticing the developing fruit on the limbs. Place all trash and pet food in locked, lidded containers that squirrels cannot open. Patch any holes in the house to prevent squirrels from breaking in and making nests.

Fasten a 12-inch-wide piece of sheet metal around the trunk of the tree, roughly 6 feet from the ground. The sheet metal is too slippery for the squirrel's grip, preventing the squirrel from climbing the tree.

Invest in a squirrel hunting dog such as a hound or terrier and give the dog the full run of the yard. Squirrels will avoid entering the yard entirely because of the perceived predator.

Stuff some nylon knee-highs with mothballs and hang them around the tree, especially where the largest clusters of fruit are growing. The odor naturally deters squirrels.

If living in an area where shooting is permitted, use a pellet gun to disperse squirrels. Typically, the noise of the gunfire is enough to scare any additional visitors out of the tree.


Things You Will Need

  • Tree-trimming supplies
  • Lidded, locking trash cans
  • 12-inch piece of sheet metal
  • Dog
  • Mothballs
  • Nylon knee-highs

About the Author


Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.