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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-11 04:15 PM
Original message
Questions about fruit trees.
I planted a fig a few years back. So far I have yet to get a single fig for myself since the birds get them before they are fully ripe. Any suggestions about how to keep the birds away? I have seen bird net bag-like things. My fig tree is small so it would be no big problem to get it on, but they are kind of pricey. I read where you can put a stake that is taller than the tree near the trunk and run filament wire off of it in a cone shape, staking it around the bottom of the tree. Also there are some mylar strip thingys. Has anyone had success with either or these solutions, or should I bite the bullet and purchase the netting?

I am also interested in planting a dwarf fruit tree orchard in my yard. I have a smal veggie garden and a bunch of chickens. Problem is, the chickens want to eat my veggies so now I need a fence. Sigh. I was thinking that a small orchard would be easier because the chickens could free range around the bases of the trees and eat any fruit that falls on the ground, but I wouldn't have to completely fence the plot off. I have read that fruit trees need to be sprayed with chemicals every year, which doesn't interest me. Does anyone have suggestions for dwarf varieties for zone 7 that are not too high maintenance? I already have the fig I mentioned earlier and some blueberries.
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kurtzapril4 Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-11 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fruit trees only need
to be sprayed if there's a problem.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-11 10:12 PM
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2. Well, trees vary.
Edited on Sat Jun-25-11 10:13 PM by Denninmi
Some need many, regular sprays with specific chemicals to yield a good crop free of insects and disease - these would include apples, quinces, cherries, apricots, plums.

Some are kind of in between -- spraying helps, but you can usually get something usable without spraying -- most pears, peaches fall into this category.

Some can yield wonderful crops without any spraying -- persimmons, paw paws, mulberries, figs, most nut trees all come to mind.

As far as keeping birds from eating the figs, you can bag the individual fruit instead of the whole tree. People use various types of bags -- some people use ziploc sandwhich bags, although personally I think they tend to collect too much moisture and promote rot. Sturdy paper bags work. The best are small muslin or nylon bags -- people buy disposable "footies" for this purpose, they're pretty cheap and very easy to use. You need to bag the fruit when its fairly small and then let it grow right in the bag.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-27-11 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I am interested in paw paws.
Edited on Mon Jun-27-11 06:22 AM by wildeyed
I guess it is a southern native? Need to get my hands on some of the fruit, see if we like it before we plant one.

On edit, are the Asian pears easy to grow? They are so delicious!
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-26-11 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. This was successful in keeping the birds off our Strawberries this year.

Perhaps an adaptation will work for your figs.

We used to use those nylon mesh nets, but they were a huge pain.
The above was very successful.
The most effective were the poles set at an angle.
The slightest breeze would cause the pans to bang against the pole.

We also used some brightly colored Pinwheels.
You can see one on the right edge of the photo.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-27-11 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That looks easy.
I will give it a go. I ordered a small amount of the mylar streamers, so I will attach them to the pie plates, see if I get results. I am going to put them around the deck too, see if it keeps the chickens off of it and out of my decorative plantings :) Those strawberries look delicious! I am really, really going to add some to my garden next spring.
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