Fruit Tree Use by Non Target Species

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
How do you keep non target species from decimating your fruit trees? I finally have two ten year old apple trees producing a fair amount of fruit - granny smith and arkansas black - and I doubt there will be an apple left in a month. I have a five year old nectarine tree that was covered with fruit and something ate it a month before it was ready. Eight ft tall peach trees were decimated with broken branches from critters after the fruit when it is a month before harvest. Pear tree had about 25 pears on it and they are gone. I got pics of squirrels, coons, possums, and gray fox in those apple trees. I have another twenty fruit trees that should be producing fruit in three or so years. How do you stop this. Does having more producing trees overwhelm them? How many trees do you have to have? I trap off an on all year - three or four days every other month. I cant be a full time trapper.
 

homerj1

5 year old buck +
2-3' stove pipe hung 1-3' off the ground around the trunks helps deter climbing. Squirrels are tough to keep off trees if trees are close enough to jump tree to tree.
 

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
The coon I trap, and I need to get on that because I am getting pictures of 4-6 at a time.

Bear, I don’t have an answer, yell, and scream, then replace a tree or 2 a year. The squirrels haven’t done much damage, but they take apples. I have about 30 apple trees, and about 1/3 produce a year, of them by deer hunting I may have 2-3 trees with about 100 apples on them left.
 

Telemark

5 year old buck +
My trees were decimated in my absence. The bears threw the cages around for whatever reason, and the deer ate the exposed trees. Some of the trees got ripped right out of the ground. I even found a couple chewed-up tree tags. I think I will be buying some barbed wire for the cages and inviting neighbors to come shoot bears.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
2-3' stove pipe hung 1-3' off the ground around the trunks helps deter climbing. Squirrels are tough to keep off trees if trees are close enough to jump tree to tree.
A former frequent poster on here posted pics of his stove pipes sleeves on his trees. He said they kept coons and other critters off his trees. That guy advised stove pipe sleeves were the answer to most of his problems. FWIW.

Bears .......... good luck.
 

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
I have cameras on my apple orchard, and when I get pictures of bear, I will jump on my 4 wheeler and drive back there and spook them out. I figured if I can spook them when I can, they may not make it their favorite daily stop. I know it won’t stop them, but it may make them think twice.
 

gunfun13

5 year old buck +
I trap or shoot them
 

TreeDaddy

5 year old buck +
How do you keep non target species from decimating your fruit trees? I finally have two ten year old apple trees producing a fair amount of fruit - granny smith and arkansas black - and I doubt there will be an apple left in a month. I have a five year old nectarine tree that was covered with fruit and something ate it a month before it was ready. Eight ft tall peach trees were decimated with broken branches from critters after the fruit when it is a month before harvest. Pear tree had about 25 pears on it and they are gone. I got pics of squirrels, coons, possums, and gray fox in those apple trees. I have another twenty fruit trees that should be producing fruit in three or so years. How do you stop this. Does having more producing trees overwhelm them? How many trees do you have to have? I trap off an on all year - three or four days every other month. I cant be a full time trapper.
Im " all ears"on this one

Shine a flashlight into my trees at night, and all you see are "eyeballs" ........

bill
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
I trap or shoot them
I have killed over fifty coons off 300 acres since february. I dont keep track of possums since my dog kill one a week also. I kill a few squirrels. If there is one coon left he will find my sweet corn or my fruit. Thank goodness we dont have bears. At least hogs and alligators cant climb trees
 

gunfun13

5 year old buck +
I have killed over fifty coons off 300 acres since february. I dont keep track of possums since my dog kill one a week also. I kill a few squirrels. If there is one coon left he will find my sweet corn or my fruit. Thank goodness we dont have bears. At least hogs and alligators cant climb trees

When covid lockdowns hit, 2 of my neighbors decided to move to their camps and wage war on vermin. The tally that year was ~140 racoons, ~50 woodchucks and a handful of skunks and opossums. Collectively they have 130 acres. Doesn't seem to have made any difference in the frequency they appear on trail camera and still rare to find a turkey nest that hasn't been raided.
 

TenPoint

5 year old buck +
bb8234040e5aceee62625ec2a98ce751.jpg


Apple flavored ribeye in the sky?
 

TenPoint

5 year old buck +
Have shotgun....will travel!
It’s too bad there’s no season here in Wisconsin. Probably never will be either.
 

gunfun13

5 year old buck +
It’s too bad there’s no season here in Wisconsin. Probably never will be either.

Farmers can get Depredation permits from US fish and wildlife. The absurd part is that any birds killed with such permits are illegal to consume.
 

TenPoint

5 year old buck +
Farmers can get Depredation permits from US fish and wildlife. The absurd part is that any birds killed with such permits are illegal to consume.
Don’t know if they can in Wisconsin. There isn’t any listed under the damage program. Just deer, bear, geese, and turkey. But that’s the state dnr. Federal might be different.
 

Maddog66

5 year old buck +
Does anyone else get lots of ruffed grouse caught in their tree enclosures? Mine are about 10’ diameter and when the apples are falling, I’ll sometimes have 2-4 grouse “trapped” inside several cages. I’ve seen my little orchard just buzzing with them….maybe 35 at a time.

They *almost always seem to get out on their own eventually but I feel horrible going back there sometimes and causing them to beat the crap out of themselves launching too low from inside the fence.

What about cutting a few small holes in the bottom of the fences….so they can walk out?

**yes, grouse do taste excellent 👍 and no, I’m not saying they damage anything other than maybe breaking small branches in the tops as they flutter around pecking on apples.
 

bigboreblr

5 year old buck +
Maddog,

Maybe make some perches so they can hop out. Just some sticks like a towel rack or something. I dont cage my plum trees up north, but I do have grouse issues with food plot seedlings. Can't grow a single fall turnip up there...... I raise toringo crabapples for the grouse to enjoy......
 

Maddog66

5 year old buck +
Hmmm…..like the bucket of death in reverse. Interesting.

I can’t say I’ve seen them impact a food plot but at my place they seem to always be hitting the “big apples”, the crabs seem to be less favored or maybe just later-maturing….but every single one gets eaten eventually.

I guess the RG’s will have better access also once the bears flatten the cages to below soil level. Which could be happening as I type. 😉
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
How do you keep non target species from decimating your fruit trees?

I plant more fruit trees!

Everything I plant is for all wildlife, I don't get hung up on the deer so much anymore.
Coon can be a pain... we do trap some in season, and we will coon hunt a half dozen times a year with my buddy just for fun I like the dog work. I hate jap beetles and will spray for them at times but they usually focus more on my cherry/hazelnut/chestnut trees than the apple or pears. I have a couple hundred trees out now and may get more enjoyment out of messing around with them than deer hunting. Seeing plenty of deer close has become a non issue..shooting one and not letting them pass is another thing.
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
I plant more fruit trees!

Everything I plant is for all wildlife, I don't get hung up on the deer so much anymore.
Coon can be a pain... we do trap some in season, and we will coon hunt a half dozen times a year with my buddy just for fun I like the dog work. I hate jap beetles and will spray for them at times but they usually focus more on my cherry/hazelnut/chestnut trees than the apple or pears. I have a couple hundred trees out now and may get more enjoyment out of messing around with them than deer hunting. Seeing plenty of deer close has become a non issue..shooting one and not letting them pass is another thing.
I have very little ground where fruit trees will grow due to high pH calcareous soil. How many trees does it take to overwhelm to coons?
 
Top