How to protect peach tree from squirrels


How to Keep Varmints From Eating Peaches Off Trees | Home Guides

By Debra L Turner Updated December 14, 2018

A variety of varmints relish the peaches on trees as much as you do, appreciating the seasonal bonanza of convenient free food and easy pickings you so generously provide. With the exception of birds and squirrels, most wild animals are secretive and nocturnal. Raccoons, opossums and bats may inflict major damage during the night. Effective controls such as relocation traps, poison baits and firearms aren’t options for everyone. Try a few eco-friendly, nonlethal alternatives to save peaches for yourself. Combine control techniques to prevent varmints from becoming familiar and unafraid of a single method.

  1. 1.

    Modify the gardening area to make it less appealing to nuisance wildlife. Pick up and use or dispose of any fallen peaches daily to avoid inviting raccoons, squirrels, opossums and rats to dinner. Put bird feeders on tall, baffled poles well away from trees or bring them in at night. Feed outdoor pets in the morning and bring their food and water containers inside at dusk. Keep garbage cans tightly capped to fend off rats and raccoons. Trim shrubs, mow high grass and weeds, and haul away trash and debris immediately to eliminate hiding places.

  2. 2.

    Prune or remove fruit tree limbs close to overhead wires or buildings, eliminating super highways for squirrels and rats. Prune out low limbs to remove cover for small animals and improve visibility, denying ground access to raccoons, rats and squirrels. Don’t plant fruit trees near structures, branches of other trees, fences or power lines.

  3. 3.

    Scare varmints away. Give the dog full run of the property. Varmints will beat a hasty retreat when confronted by a barking dog, which will likely give chase. Hang shiny items from trees and rotate their positions daily to shoo away birds and squirrels. Try attaching shiny streamers and noisy Mylar balloons to the peach tree’s limbs. Hang pinwheels and aluminum pie tins from branches and position them to bang against each other in the breeze. Watch the responses from critters; when items don’t scare them anymore, switch them. Don’t use any single combination of devices for more than a week.

  4. 4.

    Apply predator urine to the peach tree’s trunk and on the ground under the canopy if picking is only a week or two away. Predator urine frighten squirrels away from the immediate area for a short time. The varmints may not realize there isn’t really a predator until after the crop has been picked.

  5. 5.

    Cover the peach tree’s canopy completely from the top to the ground with reusable plastic mesh bird netting about three weeks before the fruit is ready -- when it begins to soften and color up. Place heavy boards on the netting's edges all around to weigh it down and prevent varmints from sneaking under it. These can be time consuming to set up, but they’re the most effective bird, raccoon and fruit bat protection for ripening peaches. Envelope just the canopy or wrap individual limbs in protective netting if the tree is too big to cover.

  6. 6.

    Place a bucket filled with a diversionary food close to the peach tree. Varmints such as squirrels, rats, raccoons, opossums and many birds typically choose the easiest and most convenient food. Offer dry dog food, cheap cracked corn or sunflower seeds. This works well on its own, and it’s an effective supplemental tactic to bird netting, which squirrels may chew through.

  7. 7.

    Nail wooden rat traps with the triggers pointed downward to the tree’s trunk. Set them at dusk, when rats become active. Bait the traps with anything sticky such as peanut butter. Rats will be caught and killed or scared away for good. Trip any empty traps the following morning so you don’t accidentally kill or injure nontarget animals active during the day.

  8. 8.

    Dig a 6-inch deep trench around the tree for a raccoon baffle. Space it about six inches from the trunk. Measure the trench's circumference and cut a 48- to 60-inch-wide sheet metal equal in length to that measurement with tin snips. Drill a hole every 12 inches at each end of the sheet. Form it into a cylinder around the trunk. Tie the ends together with short pieces of wire or zip ties. Set the bottom edge of the cylinder in the trench and bury it to steady it and prevent rats from digging under it. Pound two 6-foot stakes opposite each other inside the baffle to keep it in place.

    Things You Will Need
    • Mylar balloons and streamers

    • Pinwheels

    • Aluminum pie tins

    • 1/4- to 1/2-inch plastic mesh bird netting

    • Heavy boards

    • Predator urine

    • Bucket

    • Dry dog food, cheap cracked corn or sunflower seeds

    • Wooden rat traps

    • Hammer and nails

    • Peanut butter

    • Shovel

    • Flexible measuring tape

    • Sheet metal 48 to 60 inches wide

    • Tin snips

    • Drill

    • Zip ties or wire

    • Six-foot stakes

    Tip

    Consult a county extension agent about installing highly effective electrified wires on insulated stakes around the tree to deter raccoons if baffles aren’t an option. Raccoons are classified as fur-bearing animals in some states, and there may be wildlife ordinances prohibiting electric fencing. Contact the California Department of Fish and Game regarding management options for destructive raccoons and squirrels. Raccoons are regulated as fur-bearing animals, and the Eastern tree squirrel is classified as a game mammal. It is legal to manage nuisance wildlife with habitat modification, exclusion and scare tactics, but trapping, baiting and lethal control methods for squirrels and raccoons are closely regulated in California. Euthanize nuisance mammals humanely; it is illegal for residents to trap any mammal and release it elsewhere.

    Warning

    Keep kids and pets away from traps.

References

  • Cornell University: Growing Stone Fruits in New York
  • Purdue University: Wildlife Conflicts -- Raccoons

Resources

  • Danny Lipford: How to Make a Squirrel and Raccoon Bird Feeder BAffle
  • NPR: Raccoons’ Craving for Peaches Is the Pits
  • Mother Earth News: How to Build a Live Animal Trap
  • North Carolina State University: Identification and Assessment of Wildlife Damage: An Overview
  • WildCare: Require Humane Treatment of Urban Wildlife and Protect Consumers
  • California Department of Fish and Game: Hunting in California

Writer Bio

A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth.

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees: Tricks that Work

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If you’re like most people, you enjoy having a few fruit trees in your backyard. Not only do they provide shade and privacy, but they also produce delicious fruit for snacking on. 

However, if you’re not careful, squirrels can quickly take over your fruit trees and steal all the good food. Here are a few tips on how to keep squirrels out of fruit trees.

Growing and harvesting fresh fruit from the garden is one of the most rewarding parts of gardening. That is why it is heartbreaking to realize that squirrels have ruined the fruits of your labor (literally speaking) before you can enjoy them yourself.  

So if you have pesky squirrels helping themselves to your fruit trees, don’t lose hope and keep reading. Below we’ll provide some helpful tips for keeping squirrels out of your fruit trees. 

What Fruit Trees Attract Squirrels?

Squirrels are attracted to our fruit trees for many reasons. In particular, however, they love the delicious flavors just like we do! Unfortunately, squirrels like to eat almost every type of fruit, with some varieties being more popular than others.

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Figs
  • Oranges
  • Plums
  • Nectarines

However, just because you grow one of the above fruits does not mean that your entire harvest will be ruined. You can take measures to protect your fruit trees from squirrels, chipmunks and other animals like birds. 

How Do I Protect My Fruit Trees from Squirrels and Birds?

Protecting your fruit trees from pesky critters can be a daunting task, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure that your crop remains safe and intact.

Apply Repellent

Creating a potent repellent and consistently applying the solution is one of the most effective ways to protect your fruit trees from squirrels. However, it is essential to note that if you choose to make your repellent with chili peppers, the capsaicin in the peppers may only fend off the squirrels and not the birds.  

Reapplying squirrel repellent after rainfall and watering is crucial to maintaining an intense aroma. We also recommend giving up your repellent recipe in order to not let the birds and squirrels get accustomed. 

Protect your Trees with Wildlife Netting

Wildlife netting, also known as bird netting, is a mesh material that you can drape over and wrap around your fruit trees. To avoid potentially injuring and unintentionally trapping wildlife, you need to make sure the plastic netting is taut and well secured. 

It should be noted that while bird netting is effective with birds, it may not discourage squirrels. We have seen squirrels chew and scratch through the mesh to access the fruits.  

Install Baffles on Your Trees

Baffles are protective barriers or cone-shaped collars that wrap around the base of your fruit trees. Baffles prevent squirrels from climbing up the trunk to access the fruits. Baffles are easy to find at your local nursery or garden center. 

You may also want to consider making your baffle. Thin pieces of sheet metal or flexible plastic can be purchased at any hardware store. Cut the material to size, and wrap it around the tree so that the bottom flares outward. Then, you can secure the baffle to the trunk with wire strung through holes in the baffle. 

Place Decoy Predators Around Your Garden

You can scare squirrels away if you position decoy predators around your fruit trees. Plastic owls, hawks, scarecrows, and fake snakes are effective fake predators. If you do want to try this method, make sure periodically reposition the predators to keep the squirrels from growing accustomed to them.

Consult a Pro

If the problem gets especially bad and you’ve completely run out of options, then you might consider consulting a professional. Pest control experts will be able to assess your problem and offer guidance. Often, professionals will humanely bait, trap, and relocate the squirrels. 

What’s a Good Squirrel Repellent? 

Effective squirrel repellents employ intense aromas to create an invisible odor barrier that keeps squirrels out of certain areas and away from specific plants. 

There are plenty of squirrel repellents you can purchase from your local garden center or hardware store. However, we prefer to make our repellents with household ingredients. 

Simple and effective squirrel repellents can be made with ingredients you already have around the home. Vinegar, garlic, and scented dish soap are all good options, but we prefer using hot chili peppers, for example, cayenne or hot pepper oil.

Simply mix the cayenne pepper with water in a spray bottle and spray it around the fruit trees you want to defend. Remember to reapply after watering and rainfall to help control and get rid of squirrels.

How Do I Keep Squirrels from Eating My Peaches and Other Fruits?

We think fresh peaches are delicious! Unfortunately, squirrels do too. 

And if they get the opportunity, squirrels will ravage the edible fruits well before you are able to harvest. The good news is there are various tactics you can utilize to protect your peach trees.

  • Spray your homemade squirrel repellent such as hot pepper spray liberally and consistently.
  • Scare the squirrels away from the trees with decoy predators, reflective objects, and decoration that makes noise and moves such as garden spinners.
  • Only include squirrel-resistant fruit trees in your garden.

Squirrel Resistant Fruit Trees

Growing a fruit tree such as an apple tree in the garden is enjoyable. However, it’s not as fun when the neighborhood squirrels ruin all the fruit. So if you want to plant a new fruit tree in your garden, we recommend growing a squirrel-resistant variety. 

Squirrel-resistant fruits are ones that squirrels typically do not enjoy. Sometimes squirrels find the flavor of certain fruits to be undesirable. Squirrels also don’t like fruits that are too challenging to eat due to their rough exterior. 

After doing some research and pulling from our own gardening experience, we have found the following fruits to be the most squirrel-resistant.

  • Avocados
  • Pomegranates
  • Limes
  • Kumquats
  • Lemons

How Do You Squirrel Proof a Tree?

Completely squirrel-proofing a tree can be a time-consuming undertaking. You will need to experiment to find which methods work the best for your garden. Yet it is possible! 

Typically, you will find the most success when you utilize multiple tactics at once. For example, we install baffles on every trunk to protect our fruit trees, routinely spray squirrel repellents, and protect our trees with wildlife netting if the problem is terrible.

You can try something similar to regain control over your precious fruits. Good luck!

See more ways to keep squirrels away from garden and plants that squirrels hate.

Up next:

  • How to keep squirrels out of flower pots
  • How to keep squirrels away from bird feeders
  • How do you keep squirrels from eating your pumpkins

*image by DHDeposit18/depositphotos

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how to insulate a peach for the winter, video

Peach is one of the most thermophilic fruit crops. Previously, peaches were grown only in the southernmost regions of Russia, but today they can be seen even in Siberia. To grow southern fruits in a temperate climate, special preparation of the tree for winter is needed.

Contents

  • Why insulate peaches for the winter
  • Terms and methods of shelter
  • Rules for shelter in different regions
  • Choosing the material for insulation
  • Order of work
  • Wintering without shelter

Why insulate peaches for the winter

Previously, you had to travel to the Crimea or the Caucasus for peaches, today these delicious fruits can be grown in cooler regions. Competent selection and special agricultural technology helped to achieve this.

Despite the cold-resistant varieties bred by breeders, the southern tree still needs to be warmed. If you do not cover the peach for the winter, the tree will probably freeze at the very first severe frost. Peach trees, regardless of variety, are demanding on growing conditions and require delicate handling.

Why do you need to insulate a peach for the winter:

  • does not tolerate severe frosts, typical for the middle zone;
  • afraid of cold snap;
  • reacts negatively to winter storms;
  • a frozen tree will not give a good harvest, the yield will drop - the fruits will be small, or they will not be at all;
  • protection against harmful UV rays;
  • rodent protection;
  • the tree may die.

Given the peculiarities of the Russian climate, it is necessary to cover a peach for the winter in all regions where the winter temperature drops below -15°C. But winter is unpredictable, and even in the warmest regions, critical frosts can hit. In addition, icing occurs in the south, which is extremely destructive for any trees. To insulate or not to insulate a peach in the south - each gardener decides for himself.

The peach tree is small and every part of it is vulnerable. To protect the tree from severe Russian frosts, it is necessary to insulate all its parts:

  • barrel;
  • root system;
  • crowns;
  • hilar collar.

Terms and methods of sheltering

Terms of peach warming for the winter depend on the climatic conditions in the region and on specific weather conditions. But before proceeding with the warming of the tree, gardeners are preparing the peach for winter.

Peach needs special care in autumn. The main autumn activities are pruning and spraying. Having completed all the preparatory work, gardeners begin to warm.

The tree is started to be insulated under the following conditions:

  • the leaves on the trees have completely fallen off;
  • hit the first frost.

Typically, preparatory activities take place from late September to early October. Adjusted for region and weather conditions. Warming is carried out 2-3 weeks later.

Insulated peach has every chance to safely survive the winter. The main thing is to choose the right way of hiding, corresponding to the level of threats, and remove the insulation in time. If you delay with “uncorking” in the spring, the tree may rot.

The method of shelter is selected taking into account the regional climate. Options for sheltering seedlings and mature trees:

  1. Warming of roots with humus. Instead of soil, a peat-humus mixture is used for hilling. The soil freezes quickly. And if the winter is not snowy, then the protective layer may not be enough and the roots will freeze. Other materials can also be used for mulch.
  2. Shelter with spruce branches or corn stalks. These materials allow you to create a well-ventilated protective layer. Such insulation saves the roots and part of the trunk from cold, rain, sleet, wind.
  3. Instillation up to the level of inoculation. This method is used to save seedlings. First, a hole is dug about half a meter deep, seedlings are placed in it at an angle of 45 degrees and dug in with soil. A prerequisite is that the seedlings should be located with the tops to the south.
  4. Thermos style shelter. Covering material is placed around the trunk, leaving a gap between them. The empty space is covered with sawdust. From above, the structure is covered with a film to protect the sawdust from getting wet.
  5. Construction of a hut. The tree must be completely covered. All parts of the tree, including the crown, should be in the hut. First, a frame is built, and then a covering material is thrown over it. For the manufacture of the frame, metal hollow tubes or wooden planks are used.
  6. Agrofibre wrap. The trunk and crown of the tree are wrapped with a covering material. To make it easier to wrap the tree, the crown is pre-tied with twine.

A video about covering a peach with spunbond will help you master the insulation technique:

Rules for hiding in different regions

Different regions practice different methods of hiding. They are selected taking into account the climatic features of the region. The colder the winters, the lower the temperatures and the stronger the piercing winds, the more reliably they cover the peach.

Features of peach shelter by region:

  1. In the southern regions, warming is limited to hilling. In areas with warm winters, it is enough to rake up the soil to the near-trunk circle. If snow falls, they rake it up to the trunk. If there are risks of freezing of the roots, instead of soil, a mixture of their peat and humus is raked into the near-stem circle.
  2. In regions with little snowy winters and moderate frosts, the trunk circle is mulched with sawdust mixed with ash. The thickness of the mulch layer is 15 cm. This method of insulation is practiced in the Krasnodar Territory, Rostov Region, and the North Caucasus. Without global shelter, frost-resistant varieties can also winter in the Moscow region and the Middle lane. Less resistant varieties are wrapped.
  3. In Siberia and the Urals, the most extensive methods of protection are used. Here, the trees are completely closed using the wrapping method or frame shelters with a crown (hut). A more radical method is also used here - bending down. The tree is first bent to the ground, fixed, straw or spruce branches are thrown on top, and in winter they constantly rake up snow.

Choice of material for insulation

When insulating a peach, a grower decides two questions - what method of shelter to use and what material to choose for this purpose. The choice depends on which part of the tree is to be insulated.

It may be interesting

Insulation materials:

  1. Underground part. To protect the soil from freezing, and the roots from freezing, the trunk circle is insulated with peat, sawdust or ordinary earth. Less often - manure and sawdust. All these materials do a good job with the functions assigned to them, they are affordable and cheap. Usually gardeners choose the material that they have at hand.
  2. Above ground. The upper part of the tree is wrapped or covered with burlap, agrofibre, spunbond, plastic wrap. The best of these materials is spunbond, but its cost is higher than that of competitors.

Spunbond advantages:

  • allows to create a favorable microclimate under the shelter;
  • can last several winters;
  • This material is easy to work with.

Work procedure

Insulation works consist of two stages - autumn care and insulation. To prepare a peach for winter, it is first cut, sprayed and watered, and then insulated.

How to winterize peach:

  1. Apply phosphate fertilizer. To do this, dig near-stem circles 25 cm from the tree trunk. Groove depth - 20 cm.
  2. Feed the tree with organic matter - mullein, peat, humus or chicken manure.
  3. Moisturize. In autumn, the tree should be watered abundantly. Moisture prevents the soil from freezing, protecting the roots from freezing.
  4. Sanitary pruning. Remove damaged, diseased and dry shoots. Also remove overgrown young shoots.
  5. Whitewash the trunk to protect the bark from burning. To do this, prepare a mixture of fluffy lime (2 kg), copper sulfate (250 g) and laundry soap (30 g).
  6. Spray the tree with milk of lime. It is also recommended to treat the peach with a mixture of fungicides and insecticides to prevent diseases and protect against insect pests.
  7. Insulate wood. Choose the appropriate insulation method, prepare the materials and get to work.

Wintering without shelter

Only peaches grown in the south can do without shelter. Gardeners of the temperate zone, Siberia and the Urals must definitely insulate the trees.

If peach is left uncovered in regions with severe winters:

  1. Branches and roots will freeze. If the tree is weak, young, or the variety is not hardy, the tree may die.
  2. Burns of the bark from the sun. The winter sun can cause harm, no less than frost.
  3. Injury to branches due to snow and ice.
  4. Gnawing of the bark by rodents. The consequences of rodent activity depend on the degree of damage. This may be a decrease in yield, disease or death of the tree.

Peach trees require special attention in our latitudes. If you do not take care and do not cover it for the winter, it is impossible to achieve good harvests. After spending half an hour warming the tree, you can count on a harvest of juicy and large peaches.

How to cover a peach for the winter, the purpose of the procedure, the choice of materials and their features, the sequence of covering the roots, trunk and crown of a tree

Content

  • 1 Why cover a tree is important
  • 2 The choice of materials for shelter
  • 3 Procedure for carrying out work
      9000 3. 1 How to insulate the root system
    • 3.2 How to protect the barrel
    • 9000 3.3 How to insulate the crown
    9000

    4 Features of protection. from frost by region

Peach is a heat-loving plant that does not tolerate sudden temperature changes. Preparations for winter begin when 70-80% of the leaves have already fallen from the plantation. Shelter will protect the plant from freezing. If you refuse to warm the seedling is unlikely to bear fruit next season. Preparation for cold weather is required, even if the variety is frost-resistant.

Why is it important to cover a tree

Peach is a capricious plant that originally grew only in the southern regions. It is not adapted to significant fluctuations in temperature, severe frosts. Weather conditions can not only cause a decrease in yield, but also the complete death of the plant.

The main condition for growing a demanding crop is timely and proper care. Without protection, the plantation will be damaged by frost. Most of the branches will have to get rid of. The quality of the fruits suffers: they become small and tasteless.

The most hardy varieties include Frost, White Swan, Winter-hardy. They satisfactorily tolerate temperature fluctuations, can die only at extremely low temperatures.

Selection of materials for shelter

Preparing a peach for winter begins with the selection of materials for sheltering a seedling. Protect the crown and trunk, as well as the root system. You can warm peaches for the winter with peat and sawdust. This is a complete protection of the rhizome. Less commonly used manure or ash.

Burlap or plastic wrap will do for the top. Agrofibre and spunbond are also used. The last of these is the most advantageous, but has a high cost.

Peach can be covered with spunbond for several seasons. The material is easy to use. Just watch a few videos to figure out how to work with it. After shelter, spandbond creates a favorable climate for planting.

Work procedure

Peach care should be taken in stages in autumn. Agrotechnical measures include warming and care for the soil and the plantation itself. They begin immediately after harvest. You need to wait until the tree sheds almost all the leaves.

It is best to warm peach trees for the winter between the end of September and the end of October. All preparatory measures must be completed before the first frost.

The planting is treated with Bordeaux liquid and watered abundantly.

Together with watering, apply mineral top dressing under the tree. In addition, the trunk, as well as the bases of the branches, are whitened. Cut off dry branches, as well as strongly overgrown young shoots. The soil is mulched with sawdust or straw. Only after they proceed to the choice of how to cover the peach for the winter.

How to insulate the root system

Before insulating a peach for the winter, you need to prepare the root zone. For the near-trunk zone, peat, a mixture of earth and river sand, shavings, hay, straw, spruce branches are used.

It is better not to use sawdust, because they quickly absorb moisture, which negatively affects the endurance of the rhizome. The mulch layer should be 15-20 cm high.

To protect the root system, choose a dry and clear day when the temperature is above 0. Excessive moisture provokes the formation of mold.

Only quality materials are chosen to protect the root system. Otherwise, there is a risk of pest infestation.

How to protect the trunk

After the root system, attention must be paid to the trunk. You can insulate a peach tree with cardboard, newspapers, magazines, burlap. The material must necessarily pass air well, otherwise the plant will rot. It is not recommended to use building or food film to insulate a peach seedling for the winter. Under such protection, a kind of greenhouse effect is formed.

Any covering material is wound in strips. This is necessary to obtain the gaps necessary for normal air circulation.

How to insulate the crown

It is problematic and time-consuming to cover a peach tree in separate sections for the winter. It is better to build a shelter for the entire seedling at once.

Wrap around the frame. There must be an oxygen cushion between the planting and the structure.

This frame will protect the crown. The canopy will create a special microclimate inside the protective building, protect against rodents and diseases. Exclusion excluded.

This is the only way to insulate a peach seedling for the winter without the possibility of mold.

Features of frost protection by regions

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The tree has long been adapted for cultivation not only in the southern regions. This was probably due to the work of breeders. They created frost-resistant varieties of a demanding crop.


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