How to Protect Fruit Trees From Birds

Apple-tree branch image by Lucy Cherniak from

Growing fruit trees at home can be extremely satisfying and frustrating. Home fruit growers enjoy walking outside and picking fruit fresh from their own trees. However, the gardener and his family aren't the only ones interested in the trees' bounty. Birds go after and ruin much of the fruit. A combination of several of the methods home gardeners traditionally use to discourage birds may be needed to protect the fruit.

Drape fruit tree netting over the top of the tree. You will likely need assistance when draping the netting. Secure the netting around the base of the tree to prevent birds from flying beneath the netting.

Buy and set up a fruit cage structure that allows you to put up removable netting or wire mesh. Take the netting or mesh down to allow birds easy access to the tree after the fruit is gone. The structure remains in place, so that the netting or mesh can be installed again before the ripening of the next crop.

Create a small hole in an aluminium pie pan. Pull some heavy string through the hole and tie the pan to a tree. The noise caused when the pan hits the tree scares some birds away. Alternatively, hang old CDs from the tree branches so that the movement and the light reflections from the CDs frighten away the birds.

Purchase decoys of predators such as owls and snakes. Buy blow up items that look realistic to the birds and prevent them from going after your fruit. Move the decoys around occasionally.

Put out balloons that are specifically designed to scare birds. Hang them from poles so that they are 3 feet above the trees.

Use motion detectors that trigger noisemakers. Use recordings of bird alarms and distress cries. Alternate the sound of bird distress cries with other shrill noises such as the sound of a locomotive or static.

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