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Young cherry tree

I'm hoping someone can guide me on the best way to protect developing fruit from birds .
We bought 2 fruit trees 3 years ago which seem to enjoy their placement in the garden. The cherry tree fruited up last year, but as our back was turned , I believe the local bird mafia stole virtually every fattening fruit. Now don't get me wrong I love the birds in the garden and really don't wish them any ill, but would like to sample at least a little of the fruits of our labour. Is their any way of protecting the ripening fruit when the time comes , without netting - I would then have the unpleasant job of untangling the birds before next doors cat gets them.  Fingers crossed. Paula x


  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    edited April 2021
    You could use a net curtain or horticultural fleece and tie that to the trunk so the birds don't get in from the bottom. Depends on your tree size really. I used a method called festooning on one I had in a previous garden which involves bending the branches. Unfortunately we moved after a while so never got to see how well it worked.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    Sorry, there isn't any method I know of, if netting is not an option.  I dug-up my 3 sweet cherry trees as I only had a handful of cherries to eat from them in about 5 years of regular fruiting.  The woodpigeons, however, were very well fed.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,481
    You can buy net sleeves for the tree, they go over individual branches and are much tighter woven than bird netting, not much chance of any bird getting stuck in them, it does give the tree a rather odd appearance, but it works!
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 745
    No solution but I share your pain. We have a walnut tree but have yet to harvest any thanks to the local squirrels, they sit even wait for them to be fully ripe 🤣
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,761
    Over the years I tried kids plastic windmills,old CDs, the tree is too big to net ,those sleeves are expensive and won't fit our branches.For 8 years we have hardly had any cherries for ourselves,I wouldn't be mind,but the devils don't eat them, they take a bite and leave them on the ground, But last year we had i think it was 5kg at one time,no idea why or how.Plastic HAwkes are meant to deter other birds,but as they were £70,I didn't bother
  • Cover the fruit tree canopy with fine-mesh bird netting. Drape the netting over the top of the tree, gather the bottom of the netting around the tree trunk and tie in place with plant ties. Ensure that fruit is tucked inside the net and not directly against the net because birds can eat the fruit through the holes in the net. Alternatively, you can build a frame around the tree and drape the netting over the frame. hope this will help you thanks have a nice day
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 508
    I have used those sleeves on my potted warf cherry trees. Last year, I got a large bowl of cherries from one tree. However the other had a black aphid infestation, so no cherries, and I did wonder if the sleeves had exacerbated this. Possibly not, but it was impossible to stop the aphids from getting in through the ends of the sleeves.
    So... I was also wondering if wrapping all the foliage in environmesh would work, and if so, would it be bird friendly?
    I'll probably stick with the sleeves, though, and just be more vigilent regarding aphids. The aphid thing was strange as the broad beans nearby were unaffected. 
    I think my trees are getting a bit too big and my DIY skills a bit too poor to go down the fruit cage route. (Plus I suspect my husband would not like the look...)
  • Paula1963Paula1963 Posts: 3
    Thank you so much for your comments on the plight of the fruit mafia - otherwise known as the local garden birds- A friend has suggested coloured ribbon or hanging shiny old cds - basically modern day "scarecrowing". We have also moved the trees closer to the house in the hope that the general hub bub of family life might deter the pesky thieves. Fingers crossed . I'll let you know how I get on. 
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