Goats are the newest earth-friendly lawnmowers. They are great for keeping grasses down, for eliminating weeds and for removing unwanted bushes and trees. For some people, though, their lawn-mowing goats often bump up against their beloved young trees. While goats won't normally eat the bark from a mature tree, the tender bark on a young tree is a favourite food. Fortunately, protecting your favourite trees from your favourite lawnmowers is much less difficult that it might appear.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Hardware cloth
- Wire cutters
- Zip ties
- 14 gauge wire or metal wire ties
Protect individual trees by cutting hardware cloth to a length that will wrap around the trunk of the tree that needs protection. Cut enough sections of hardware cloth to be placed above the goats' reach if they were to stand against the trunk and stretch out their necks; 8 feet generally is sufficient.
Wrap the hardware cloth around the trunk, starting at the bottom. Tightly secure the hardware cloth to itself using zip ties. Secure each section of hardware cloth to the section below it and to itself in the same way, until the first 8 feet of the tree is completely armoured. Branches that hang below 8 feet should be protected in this manner as well, unless you wish for them to be removed.
Secure the hardware cloth to branches and itself once it is all in place. Use metal ties or pieces of wire cut to length to secure the hardware cloth. Goats eventually will chew through zip ties, especially if they are the only thing between the goat and something it wishes to eat. The metal backup will ensure that the goats do not remove the hardware cloth. Wrap the wire around what you wish to secure and twist it around itself several times while pulling the wire tightly together.
Tips and warnings
- The simplest method to protect trees from goats may be to erect a fence around the trees.