Squirrels can seem cute and fuzzy, but if you own apple trees, they can seem more like little furry terrorists. The animals will run up the trunks of apple trees, or move from branch to branch from surrounding trees. They will often munch on apples before they are ripe, causing them to spoil on the tree. There are several methods used to keep squirrels out of apple trees, including traps, barriers and repellents.
Scatter samples of the squirrel food that you will use as bait through the orchard to get squirrels used to the bait. Squirrels will eat peanut butter and bread.
Set out a live trap. You can often borrow live traps from the SPCA, or purchase them from a hardware store. Place the peanut butter within the trap. Do not set the treadle. Squirrels will get used to eating the food from the trap.
Set the trap with the treadle in place. When the squirrels eat the bait, their movement will close the trap.
Move squirrels to a remote location at least five miles away.
Assemble trunk collars around the trunks of trees. Trunk collars are typically 2-foot wide strips of metal that you place around the trunk at a point 6 feet off the ground. Attach the metal with wire springs that expand with the tree as it grows.
Remove or prune any nearby trees that squirrels can use to jump into apple trees.
Cover wire with plastic pipe. Squirrels will not be able to use wires to cross into your orchard trees. The plastic pipe will cause them to slip from the wires.
Cut the legs from four pairs of nylon hose.
Pour mothballs into each of the sections.
Tie the hose sections into the trees near your fruit. The smell will repel squirrels.