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How to Net Fruit Trees

By Jay Golberg ; Updated September 21, 2017

Birds eat ripening fruit from fruit trees planted in the garden and are difficult to control once they discover a tree full of fruit. Birds make the fruit unsightly and sometimes unfit to eat. In addition to damaging the fruit, birds eating fruit can make a mess of the garden area. Mylar tape as well as other shiny objects placed around the garden are effective at deterring birds. However, if you net a fruit tree or apply bird netting over the tree, you can have complete control over the amount of bird damage to the crops.

Buy as much bird netting as you need to protect your fruit tree. Measure the height and width of your fruit tree and compare the size of your fruit tree to the size of the netting stated on the package or box that contains the bird netting. If you have an unruly limb that is not productive and will cause problems when netting the fruit tree, go ahead and cut it back to a main limb.

Choose a day when there is no wind to apply the bird netting on your fruit tree. Take the bird netting out of the package, unfold it and lay it out beside your fruit tree. Don't cut the netting unless you are sure you have enough netting to cover the entire top, sides and bottom of the fruiting part of the tree.

Pick up one end of the bird netting and drag it over the top of your fruit tree. If the tree is too tall and you are having trouble getting the netting over the tree, use a lightweight pole to help move the netting over the top of the tree.

Wrap the netting around the fruiting part of the tree, securing the bottom of the netting area with clothespins in a way that birds cannot enter the netted area. Ideally, the netting should go over the tree, completely covering it, and be secured at the trunk.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Bird netting
  • Lightweight pole
  • Clothespins
  • Pruning loppers

Tip

  • If the fruit tree is too large for one section of netting, connect two sections of netting with clothespins. Or cut sections of netting and only cover the fruiting branches with the netting held together with clothespins.

About the Author

 

Jay Golberg is a certified Texas nursery professional and professional project manager. He has 30 years of business and farming experience and holds bachelor's degrees in English writing from St. Edward's University and finance from Lamar University.