Monday, June 18, 2018

FRUIT IS GONE

See yesterday's post if you missed it for the weekend update.

A few weeks ago we posted about putting up a possible DEER REPELLENT using soap sachets.  

Well, we can say that it was EPIC FAIL.

Sometime over the last week...


Deer ate all the pears off of this tree...


All the plums off of both plum trees...


And peaches/nectarines (i.e. mystery fruit) off of this tree.  We hope they enjoyed it whatever it was.


It wasn't birds because the fruit was completely gone.  Birds will just usually eat parts and/or leave the pits behind.  There were also a couple of incriminating tracks in the ground and a broken branch on one tree that had fruit up higher up.

It's not a terrible loss because this was more or less a test crop this season anyway and we just a few pieces of fruit growing.  The last two years we've removed blossoms to allow for root and tree growth.  This year though, we allowed some fruit to set.  Partially to see if it would (it did) and also to see if we'd have predator problems (we do).

So in a way it's a success because now we can learn from what happened and (hopefully) be prepared for next season to finally get a decent crop of fruit.


Damn deer.  Beautiful animals and we love to see them grazing in the fields around the house but stay away from our fruit trees.  


We're trying to think of a solution.  Since the boxes are 4' x 4' square, maybe just putting in tall poles, one on each corner, and then some sort of mesh screening/netting/fencing around each box would work..  Something similar to above...times 8, ha.  

Open to suggestions!

28 comments:

  1. Honestly, any fencing that would stop deer will stop you. I would only use fencing as a last resort, especially since the trees will outgrow it. Have you tried a predator scent? You used to be able to buy it to spray as a deterrent.

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    1. I haven't thought about predator scent. And we DO have coyotes that regularly roam the property. Thanks!!

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  2. So sorry about the loss of your fruit. Watching the fruit grow and develop and then picking from your own trees is such a joy.
    Since I live in town now, I don't have deer problems but I do have possums raiding my fruit trees every year - I usually have enough fruit that it doesn't matter that much. When I lived in the country, I didn't have deer problems because there were so many coyotes out there - and I had a 6-foot-high chain link fence around my yard. Hopefully some fencing with chicken wire will protect your fruit from the deer having a buffet in your orchard.

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    1. At least we got one plum, and it sure was good, ha. We do have coyote but I guess they aren't around enough. Thankfully no possums out there, no squirrels either (it's weird but I digress). Anyway, maybe wire/mesh will work.

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  3. I understand your frustrations. I would buy some of the coyote urine spray to keep them away next year.

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    1. Coyote urine spray? I will check that out. Thank you. And I'll pray it doesn't spill in my car, haha!

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  4. yes there are scents you can buy at local hardware stores to deter the deer. Definitely smells yucky to people who smell it but more so, most likely to the deer. Glad you see the good side of it all. Losing fruit but figuring it all out. Fencing around area where you have the trees? Take care!

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    1. Thanks, I always try to see the glass half full in life. It's too short not to (though the news some days makes that difficult, ha). Anyway, will ask around at the local stores and see. And yep, like I said, this was more of a test to just see how watering worked, fertilizing, etc. We learn and move forward.

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  5. i swear that irish spring being used as a repellent was done by irish spring marketing. i don't think it repels anything except probably irish people that think it smells nothing like ireland. bummer about the fruit.

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    1. LOL it just might be. I have updated my post on it with epic fail so no one else wastes their time. I mean, it wasn't expensive and was worth a try. Maybe we needed more but I'm trying urine now! ;-)

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  6. Here's my suggestion. Rather than fencing each tree make a fenced fruit orchard. If the fence is high enough the deer can't jump it. It will be more comfortable for you to get in there to tend the trees and harvest. If you can grow any berries in Texas those bushes can go in there too. Are the deer jumping your fence into the garden? Probably not because of the raised beds and stakes you have up. They don't have a clear landing spot. Your orchard may not need a high fence if there are the tree beds which limit landing area.

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    1. You know that did cross our mind. I never thought about adding more fruit that way. No deer jumping into the garden. But you are right, it could be that they don't have the "landing spot". I'll have to remember to keep it that way, ha. Great suggestions thank you!

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  7. Oh that is such a shame - all that work! BUT, the solution for you may be tall metal stakes and bird netting. Both come in many lengths and heights. Decide on where you want to place the stakes and then (two man job) use the hooks on the metal steaks to attach and start wrapping. Just a hint...4ft is NOT high enough go with 6ft. Deer can jump real high.

    We have a 100x100 raised bed garden area with veg, grape vines and fruit trees. We placed the green metal stakes 8 feet apart all the way around and wrapped the whole dang garden up. You can easily fashion a make-shift 4x6 door using wood strapping, netting and a staple gun on one corner. Believe it or not, the bird netting disappears to the naked eye from several feet away so it's not as ugly as it sounds, but deer hate it! They can't see it, but brush up against it and freak out. Otherwise, our plot would be wiped out every year. Deer are so pretty but carry ticks and eat everything in sight. Hope this helps. X

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    1. I agree with you Camille. That is what we now do.

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    2. Camille and Tomato Thymes, thank you for the info. Good to hear about the fencing. We'll do some checking and figure out something for sure. At least we have a bit of time to play for something. Thanks again, both of you!

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  8. Actually, you need two fences about six feet apart. They cannot clear two. If they clear they cannot clear the other. So, they won't jump at all. Look up some you tube videos and look at more than one. Put anything that deer will eat to protect it all. Ask people around there. Any gimmick will soon be discovered by the deer. The Irish Spring probably will keep the deer away until they have a motive to come near-->your fruit.

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    1. Ah, I see what you mean. Interesting!! And yep that might have been what happened. They left them alone for awhile but then realized there was something worth it by just working through it, ha.

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  9. I've used bird netting draped over fruit trees. That seems to work. Especially when they are small. Nowadays I'm bagging my fruit anyway. Deer don't like their lunch pre-packaged in sandwich bags

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    1. Bagging? I'll have to look that up. Thanks!!

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    2. Just Google "Bagging Apples". I use generic ziplok sandwich bags. Keeps all manner of predator at bay

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    3. Thank you for this, will do!!

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  10. We wound up putting up 7ft non climbable fencing around the whole orchard of our 6 fruit trees. And an big wooden arbor with a gate, also unjumpable...kind of a secret garden, lol. Also we plant our garden in there and berries. It has been up over 20 years, and no deer have ever jumped in. Now we have to figure out how to keep the killing frost out. Sorry about your fruit this year...hard lesson learned. Bird netting will sometimes work, but the deer just reared up and pawed at it, bruising the fruit. Repellent scents don't work, either. Deer are smarter than we think.

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    1. Wow, 20 years! Cool, sounds like it works. Thank you. I am beginning to realize they are very smart. :-). Thanks again.

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  11. Amazon sells a sprinkler that is motion sensor activated. Nothing like a noisy blast of water to scare deer. I'm thinking of trying it in our orchard. https://www.amazon.com/Hoont-Outdoor-Blaster-Animal-Repeller/dp/B078R6PRZ6/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1529413179&sr=8-9&keywords=motion+sensor+water+sprinkler+animal+repellent

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    1. Hmm, that's interesting too. We will look into this too. It could work for any animal. Thanks again.

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  12. That totally sucks.
    Hope you find a useful solution to the situation besides having venison to eat.

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    1. Thank you, and that made me laugh, ha.

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  13. It will take more than that to deter a deer ... They will stand on their hind legs and pick fruit 9 or so feet up .... and of course will reach through bars of any fencing they can get their heads through .. Good luck!!!

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