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Pallets for cages?

Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by pointer, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. pointer

    pointer A good 3 year old buck

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2016
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Zone 6)
    I have a source for free pallets. I'm planning on planting some fruit trees on my place this spring and am considering using the pallets for cages/protection. Any reason to not use them over wire cages?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. 4wanderingeyes

    4wanderingeyes 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2016
    Location:
    Washburn co WI
    I am assuming you would use 3-4 of them and box the tree in? Airflow would be my only concern.
     
  3. Catscratch

    Catscratch 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    I've seen pics of it done before. They were on a habitat website a yr or two ago. If I remember right he used 3 to make a triangle around the tree. The only things I can think of that would be prohibitive is that they are heavy and bulky to work with, and not very tall. They would probably prevent rubbing on trunks but maybe not browsing? I don't know though, try it and let us know how it works.
     
  4. pointer

    pointer A good 3 year old buck

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2016
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Zone 6)
    Yep, build either a triangle or box around the tree. I think I could mitigate airflow a bit by removing a few of the slats if need be. Not sure how tall they are, so that could be an issue to prevent browsing, unless I made the bigger in area.
     
  5. j-bird

    j-bird 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Decatur County IN
    I don't see why it wouldn't work. The browsing by the deer can also promote vertical growth as well.....as long as the deer can't reach the leader or strip the tree clean. Use bailing wire or the like to fasten them together.
     
  6. broom_JM

    broom_JM Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Location:
    IN/MI
    Those pallet slats will be perfect places for mice and voles to build their home, well-protected from hawks and owls, plus they can chew on the tree trunks if they run out of other food.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  7. NE PA QDM

    NE PA QDM A good 3 year old buck

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    I have several enclosures made of 4 pallets placed in a square and held together with some wire. They work great but are a bit cumbersome to move. I have not used them on apple trees, only on elderberry, but I'm sure they would work fine for apples to prevent browse and rubbing. Yes, it's a little harder than with a wire cage to get inside it. And I've been stung once or twice by hornets who had built a nest inside the pallets. But that's not any different than using tree tubes!
    The pallet cages I made for my elderberry were installed 5 years ago and are still holding up very nicely. Hard to argue with the price.....
     
  8. CrazyEd

    CrazyEd 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Zone 4B
    Not a fan of the idea.

    I favor concrete mesh, mainly because once it rusts it is almost invisible. I don't want my land to look like a landfill.
     
  9. North Mo

    North Mo Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    I have seen old photographs from the 1800's that had 4 sided wood plank fencing around trees. I was told by my grandfather it was used to protect the tree from horses and other livestock.
     
  10. Tree Spud

    Tree Spud 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    Marquette Cty, WI USDA Zone 4b
    And there is that sunlight factor, ability for wind to stiffen the tree trunk, ...
     
  11. NE PA QDM

    NE PA QDM A good 3 year old buck

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    Definitely not suggesting it's ideal but I think it has its place. It works great for growing shrubs that need more space than can easily be accommodated by a 2' diameter cage in areas with high browse pressure. I generally wouldn't recommend it for apple trees but would say that protection from a makeshift wooden/pallet cage is FAR better than no protection at all.

    I would completely agree that this approach isn't perfect, but the question was never "is this a perfect approach?"

    Many people say that tree tubes are a bad way of growing fruit trees but I have successfully done it for about 100 apple trees and so I'm less interested in "is this ideal" than I am in "can this work?" And clearly pallets can work to mitigate browse pressure and eliminate injury from buck rubs.

    So if they're free and you don't have welded wire laying around, i wouldn't hesitate to use them.
     
    4wanderingeyes likes this.
  12. 144

    144 Buck Fawn

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    That’s a really good point...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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