I've got about a 4 year old peach, and a few blueberries.
Last year, the peaches mysteriously vanished one day, even though I
had sorta draped netting over them.
Is there an alternative, and when should I be ready for the assault?
Netting an 11' tree is no easy matter!
Also, I have some clusters of peaches, should I thin out the extras?
Possible deer problem. If so, netting will work used as a fence around
the tree. You want space between net and tree.
I've also seen fallen peaches eaten by groundhogs but never had a bird
problem when I had peach trees.
I would suspect either squirrels of some variety of 2 legged varmint. With
squirrels you would find some evidence of the fruit (skins and bits of
pits), only two legged varmints carry away everything.
Guess I'd suspect 2 legged too. I have problems with deer, squirrels,
groundhogs etc but they never put a big dent in my peach crop. OP might
consider buying a game camera such as sold by Cabela's for getting
pictures of whatever is attacking the tree.
There was nothing left last year, it was like they never had fruit.
Possums are not uncommon here. I had several that used the cat door
and were perfectly at home with the cats. Took a while to trap and
remove. Used to also see racoons, very clever critters. The cats were
not friendly to them, but did not pick fights.
I'm on the edge of woodlands here in Atlanta. No deer though.
I do see mass migrations of blackbirds, among others, but I would
have thought they were messy eaters and would leave a lot of damaged
fruit. Here, nothing.
I think you have opossums, how different their behaviour is I am not sure.
As for racoons I have no idea.
Here the possums would live in the woods and sneak into the orchard at
Birds are messy, they leave damaged fruit on the tree and drop bits all
over, so do fruit bats. You would see the birds in the day time. Rats will
also attack fruit if hungry enough, they are not neat eaters either.
If you have more fruit ripening on the trees you may have to go out with a
light at night and catch the rascals in the act to find out what they are.
I had no idea we might be talking two different species. Our (o)possums
are marsupials, the only ones we have here.
Fruit is about half size, so still ripening. I haven't lost any this
year, but last year I lost it all, and all at once. Went out to check on
the peaches, and there weren't any! Nor any on the ground... Came as a
Do you use brooms to help you get it over them? We net several trees of
this size and by using brooms have foudn them quite easy to do. I really
don't like netting our big trees where we have to get up on ladders to get
near the tops.
OK, here's what worked for me (before I moved to the sandpit, where
peach trees come to die).
I made a bunch of panels using 48" wide 1" hex netting (aka, chicken wire)
stapled onto 1x2 x 8 foot wood strips. The hex net extended about 1 foot
beyond each end of the wood.
Make enough panels to circle the tree. Tied the panels together to surround
the tree, with the loose hex net extending outward top and bottom. (It might
help to have a couple of stakes or fence posts to help get you started.)
Animals that can push through (or tear through) draped bird netting won't
get through wire mesh.
You can roll the panels up to store for next year.
And the panels will also work to protect small block plantings of sweet corn.
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