Keeping Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees

Squirrels can be really adorable, except when they are decimating your fruit trees. Stopping the squirrels from eating the fruit on your trees will help ensure a good harvest. This is a guide about keeping squirrels out if fruit trees.
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March 8, 2016 Flag
1 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to keep squirrels from eating the fruit off the peach and plum trees?

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Anonymous Flag
April 8, 20160 found this helpful
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The only solution I found this put a rubber snake in the base of the tree

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April 29, 20160 found this helpful
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I found a four inch four foot hot water vent pipe worked beautifully. Simply pt the pipe on the tree and snap it closed. Squirrels cannot get a grip on the smooth pipe. Fun to watch them slide down.

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Anonymous Flag
May 13, 20160 found this helpful
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Just put human hair around the tree in the ground. You can get in a beuty salón, the squirrels don't like it AND stay away from the tree.

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May 18, 2012 Flag
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I have an apricot tree that generally yields well. This year, there are dozens due to mild winter weather in northest Ohio. The tree is one of those varietals with an alleged, edible pit. In the past five years, we have yet to taste a ripe apricot. The problem, fox and gray squirels during the day and a mystery critter during the night, probably raccoons or flying squirrels. I have tried hot pepper spray, netting and don't think they would be afraid of an owl decoy after a couple of days. The one I placed to scare away the English sparrows has become a perch.

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Short of ordinance which is certainly an option and perhaps a diabolical treat for me at this point, does anyone have any suggestions to: 1) Allow a reasonabie harvest of fresh apricots on my part and 2) allow another/ other species to share a few of these tasty fruits?

By Grumpy gardener

May 18, 20121 found this helpful
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I don't know if it would work for all the critters but it would cut down on some of them (especially the birds).

Add bells to your branches. Don't hang them from the limbs on strings tie them directly to the branch. This way when a critter goes on the branch (shaking it) the bells clatter. It may scare them away. Find bells that are very senstive. Smaller bells tend to be more sensitive than larger ones because their clacker isn't as heavy.

Another trick (that my father does) is to find a Model T coil and hook it up with a wire around the bottom of the tree. This gives any critter trying to cross and climb a shock. We had raccoons eating peaches off our tree before they developed enough to be picked. This trick stopped the little guys.

I was told or read that you can also put something sticky around the base of the trunk of the tree and it will deter climbing critters. They don't like how their paws stick. Not sure off hand what would be wide enough that the critters wouldn't step over it easily. Something like a fly strip but much wider. Maybe there is a substance they sell at a yard and garden place for insects (like ants) that you can spray on the trunk.

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June 14, 20160 found this helpful
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Maybe mac tac (sticky shelf liner) turned upside down with the sticky side up?

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June 9, 20160 found this helpful

Cut down all trees around apricot. Squirrels don't like to b on ground. Get an aggressive cat.

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June 14, 20160 found this helpful

June 18, 2016 Flag
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We live in Greenville, in southeast Missouri. Any safe easy suggestions on stopping squirrels or raccoons from eating our peaches? I am not sure which creatures are eating them. We absolutely do not want to harm them! They are eating the peaches before they get ripe. Again is there a safe way to stop them? It is starting to get a bit frustrating! Thank you.

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June 21, 20160 found this helpful
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Birds and people, as well as raccoons and squirrels, love peaches. You can try wrapping the trees in mesh fabric, repetitive loud sounds, lights, etc...

Good Luck!!!

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August 24, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

I just landscaped my backyard and added about 5 fruit trees. First I noticed all the pomegranate blossoms and one small fruit on the ground one morning. Then I was admiring the Asian pear on my tree and the next day it was gone. There was a slight hole under the tree like it was dug away. Lots of gardenia blossoms were also on the ground, but those may be from overwatering.

I do have squirrels visiting my yard cause I feed the birds and they try to get at that food. Any good ways to keep my fruit away from them? I spent a lot of time and money on the yard and was looking forward to the fruit.

By Barb

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August 29, 20111 found this helpful
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The only thing I have found that works to keep my fruit for myself from the squirrels is to grow hot peppers. Make hot pepper sauce with water from them and spray that on the trees. The pepper burns their mouth and they leave it alone but have to add it every couple of weeks. Sometimes I add a little Murphy's oil soap to the mix and that helps too. This was the first year I actually got all my peaches.

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August 24, 20111 found this helpful

Invest in a pellet gun.

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July 13, 20160 found this helpful

That's what we have done as well. We tried everything including have a heart traps. Nothing is working. As of right now..we use the pellet gun and we plant the trees in pots and keep them on the deck. They won't go on the deck and we have an Irish Setter puppy that loves to eat Squirrels. Lol

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July 23, 20160 found this helpful

July 12, 2013 Flag
5 found this helpful

Squirrels ate every pear from my tree a few years ago. They start early in the season, well before the fruit ripens. The next year as soon as I noticed the fruit being eaten, I wrapped the tree with enormous sheets of clear plastic that I bought in the paint department sold as dropcloths. I bought 3 of the cheapest, biggest ones, spent less than $10. Then with the help of my son and a ladder, I wrapped the tree with the plastic, pinning it to branches and to itself with clothespins. My tree is about 10 years old and about 15 feet high.

The wrap job is nowhere near perfect but it works nevertheless. I concentrate on covering the branches with the most fruit. Some branches are too high so I don't get those covered. I loosely closepin the gaps between the sheets and I pin the plastic to the lower branches and close to the trunk.

In my yard, the squirrels jump from other trees onto the pear tree as well as approach from below. Even though the plastic is rather thin, the wrap job stays intact for the season. Windy days pop a clothepin or two off so I repair it, if necessary. The fruit seem to ripen just fine. Hooray! I save the plastic for next year. I have done this 3 years in a row with very good results.

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July 25, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

How do you keep squirrels out of nut and fruit trees?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Sarah from MS

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October 17, 20160 found this helpful
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We tried Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart AC/DC to no avail until we tried Carol Burnett Comedy Tapes- Alas: All Squirrels gone. It's her high stupid laughs and corny corny jokes that seems to send them packing!

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July 25, 20110 found this helpful

Adjustable animal shield

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August 12, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

This was my solution after every single apple disappeared last year. I go out several times a day and eyeball a count of ALL of the apples and they ALL seem to still be there.

I bought a fine mesh roll of deer cloth in July, about 36 inches x 50 feet and wrapped it around my Honeycrisp apple tree. I am going to have apple pie IN A MONTH! (8/8/13)

Supplies:

  • 50 ft deer cloth net
  • 12 ft pipe or pole
  • 40 in twist ties
  • 2 yd rope
  • 6 yd Top Hat lattice or 6 at 1/2 inch x 8 foot plastic pipes

The plastic pipes could be joined in the center of each to form a disc to extend and support net somewhat away from the branches.

Steps:

  1. First, I had help. We took a plastic pipe, about 3 inch diameter, and tied it vertically to the trunk of the tree. It is about 2 feet taller than the top branch.
  2. After encircling the 10 foot tree, starting at the top, several times, I tied where the wrapped deer cloth overlapped in many places, using twist ties from the produce department in the grocery store.
  3. I took the loose net that was next to the ground and tied all of it up to the trunk at the bottom of the trunk, using a piece of plastic rope.
  4. After the apples started weighing on the netting, I sorta crawled up and in and attached a leftover piece of plastic lattice fence horizontally on the tip top of the pipe to create a "hat" to hold the net away from the branches. I should have put in 2 or 3 to make an X. Next year.
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July 5, 2013 Flag
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We have birds and squirrels visit our cherry tree. In order to have any cherries ourselves, I take old CDs, tie one end of a string through the center hole, and tie the other end on the tip of a tree branch. A gentle breeze will twist and turn them, causing the critters to leave the cherries alone. I don't put them out until just before harvest because, like anything else, once the critters become used to them they are useless as a deterrent. As soon as the harvest is done, I bring them in to keep until next year.

Where do I get so many CDs? I accumulate them all year long and even have family members hand me theirs. Some are old broken CD's or DVD's. Each new electronic device has a CD to give directions, making the old ones obsolete. By the time cherry picking time is here, I have quite a stack of them.

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April 24, 2010 Flag
2 found this helpful

I have tried owls, snakes, moth balls and spray. None worked for more than a day. Tried the plastic cone around the trunk and they jumped to the top edge and crawled up anyway.

This year I put "tangle foot", a product that is very sticky and used to keep pigeons off areas. Worked great. As soon as they jumped to the cone edge and got the adhesive on the front feet, they dropped off the cone and did not come back. They were not hurt in any way, but did not like the adhesive.

By rn4005 from Omaha, NE

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July 12, 20160 found this helpful
Top Comment

Thanks for your post. I tried it and it's working! Not a single squirrel since I applied it. Whooohooo! I'm spreading the word, for less than $15 and lots left over for next year too.

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August 31, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

Keeping squirrels from harvesting your apples and pears. Puncture a hole in a few aluminum pie plates, tie them singly with twine to the lower branches of your fruit trees. The clanging will scare them away.

By Chell

Answers:

Keeping Squirrels off of Fruit Trees

Here is a recipe called Squirrel Beaters Tonic

Mix all together and pour in a hand sprayer and spray all over fruit. Hope it works for you. I have not tried it yet but plan to.
(05/20/2008)

By Raymond

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June 9, 20160 found this helpful

I tried the recipe, but the pepper keeps stopping up my spray bottle. So I ended up just sprinkling the Cayenne pepper over my strawberries. We will see...

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June 16, 2007 Flag
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Is there a way to discourage squirrels from feasting in my garden? They have eaten every apple on my three trees.

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July 25, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

Can I use hot sauce to protect a peach tree from squirrels?

By Victor from Long Island, NY

Answers:

Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

I use hot pepper sauce around our fruit trees and garden to keep critters away, good luck. (04/24/2010)

By kffrmw88

Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

They sell a plastic owl with moving heads and these scare the squirrels. Also, they sell motion activated sprinklers too! Here's several options and there are many more too:

Here's a Wonderful Sugar Free Option: $50
critter-repellent.com

It's a motion-activated burst of ultrasonic sound that humans can't hear, it sound startles animals and teaches them to stay away

Scare-crow Sprinkler: $75
A motion-activated sprinkler teaches them to avoid the area in future.

You'll have to Google to find the bobble-head owl.

* I'd stay away from the hot pepper or hot-sauce because it's can be very cruel. This is because when animals and neighborhood pets get it in their eyes, the pain can cause them to dig their eyes out! I used to use it and recommend it until many ThriftyFun people wrote and warned me! Plus, the hot sauce has to be re-applied each time it rains. (04/24/2010)

By Cyinda

Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

I saw an infomercial on TV yesterday. They said use peppermint oil, that rodents are allergic to it. Be sure it is oil from a health food store and not extract from the grocery store which is mostly alcohol. (04/25/2010)

By zoodad

Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

We had issues with squirrels eating our strawberries, "all" our strawberries. I read somewhere that they do not like the scent of coffee grounds. We tried it and it worked wonderfully! Plus unlike cayenne pepper, it seems to still be effective after regular waterings or rain showers. I scatter coffee grounds about every 2-3 weeks and have not had any issues since. Plus it's a non-chemical solution that is safe for our family and our puppy, too. I definitely recommend to give it a try. (06/09/2010)

By HunnyBunnyCO

Keeping Squirrels Out Of Fruit Trees

Finally, after 4 years of trying oils, owls, moth balls, coffee grounds, rubber snakes, sonic noise makers, etc. I finally have not had one squirrel in my apple trees. I may get my first crop on my 7 year old trees. I put 40 inch wide, rather thin gauge sheet metal around the trunks of my trees. The squirrels try to jump up over the tin, but can not jump that high. This solution was so simple, I should have thought of it sooner. Haven't harmed a single squirrel and they are still in my neighborhood.

Russ (06/24/2010)

By rn4005

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