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protecting trees in goat paddocks

Doug Mac


Joined: Jan 07, 2013
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
Our goats are doing a great job of opening up our forest. There are some smaller trees and shrubs we would like to keep though. We have put concrete mesh (6" squares of ~1/8th" wire, 7 1/2'tall) around most of our fruit trees. It's stiff enough that the goats and deer can't push in to get to the trees. It's heavy enough that I haven't had to stake it unless it was on a slope. The problem is it's pricey $300 for 200'. Any suggestions?
greg patrick


Joined: Mar 17, 2012
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
    
    3
We use re-mesh too, covered with whatever smaller meshed screen we can find (snow fence is pretty cheap and works well over re-mesh). Contact local concrete contractors as they usually order in bulk and can either get it for you or tell you who has it cheap. Metal recyclers and fencing companies always have used fence they'll sell you cheap. We pay .50 a pound, or about .50 a foot.

Another thing we do is wrap trees in hardware cloth or fine chicken wire once their too high to browse. Just staple it on. Works really well and is easier and cheaper than constructing tubes from remesh.


'Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.' - Hippocrates
Alder Burns
pollinator

Joined: Feb 25, 2012
Posts: 924
Location: northern California
    
  29
For this purpose I mostly used electric fence. Since I was fencing young planted trees, one thing I did was put a metal trash can or barrel, bottomless, around each tree, propped up on three pieces of glass, heavy plastic, or something like that and then attach electric fence to it so the whole piece of metal was electrified. For trees with more height, I'd put a triangle of wire around each one...but that was for goats trained to respect electric fence fully. To do this, bait the wire!


Alder Burns (adiantum)
Rebecca Norman


Joined: Aug 28, 2012
Posts: 350
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 11,000 feet
    
  21
I don't know if this would be useful in other places, but it is a very popular technique in Ladakh, where there are lots of voracious goats and not much forage, so trees need to be protected very VERY well. In Ladakh, when people have to plant trees out in the unprotected outdoors, not inside an enclosure, they collect old tin cans, cut both ends off, and run those around the trunks. Since we're mostly planting willows and poplars, which can be planted as simple cuttings, it is very easy because there are no branches so you can just plop them over the top after you've planted the cuttings. We plant cuttings at least four feet high so you can leave the top uncovered but it will be out of reach of browsing animals. The cans tend to rust and fall apart before the tree grows fat enough to cause a problem; sometimes the cans stay intact and you have to cut them after a few years, but in a moister climate than Ladakh's total aridity, that shouldn't be a problem.


Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod.
Leon Elt


Joined: Aug 20, 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Central FL
Rebecca Norman wrote:I don't know if this would be useful in other places, but it is a very popular technique in Ladakh, where there are lots of voracious goats and not much forage, so trees need to be protected very VERY well. In Ladakh, when people have to plant trees out in the unprotected outdoors, not inside an enclosure, they collect old tin cans, cut both ends off, and run those around the trunks. Since we're mostly planting willows and poplars, which can be planted as simple cuttings, it is very easy because there are no branches so you can just plop them over the top after you've planted the cuttings. We plant cuttings at least four feet high so you can leave the top uncovered but it will be out of reach of browsing animals.


Interesting - that's the only idea I've ever heard of that'll cost you less $6/tree. What stops goats from bending the tree down and knocking the cans off (or from breaking the tree) though? Is there something like a t-post?


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Rebecca Norman


Joined: Aug 28, 2012
Posts: 350
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 11,000 feet
    
  21
In Ladakh the willow and poplar cuttings are always at least an inch diameter, often more, and four or five feet tall (above ground), so they can't be bent over. The bark-eating marauders are goats, donkeys, cows, and yak-cow hybrids, and are very resourceful (hungry) critters.

Before tin cans were so numerous, and also sometimes now, people collect seabuckthorn branches and strap them around the new saplings with scrap rope and wire. Also a free solution! But you have to use quite a bulky bundle of thorn branches to be safe.

To make sure animals can't nudge the cans up, you can sew them with scrap wire. Before putting them on the saplings, pop a couple holes in each one with a nail, and then string or twist-tie one to the next. Another solution is to stuff a couple of sticks in there along with the cutting, so if animals nudge their way in they only reach a dead stick, and those will break down in time.
R Scott


Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Posts: 2435
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
    
  28
http://www.treeprotectionsupply.com/

This is what lots of rich hunters use for deer protection. They also simulate partial shade so the trees grow UP faster. They are not cheap.

Re-mesh is a good buy in the long run if you can re-use it for multiple plantings.


"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi. "Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
 
 
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