I'm in Upstate New York, and looking to get some electric fencing to protect new plantings from deer.
Hoping some folks here have experience with some options available in the US Northeast and can share your experience with the pros/cons, as well as suppliers?
We want the fence to be
1. easy to set up
2. solid enough to stand for 3-6 years without too much maintenance (other than trimming weeds and checking on the energizer)
3. Able to be removed and used elsewhere without a ton of work.
We don't want to spend a TON of time and effort erecting a permanent 7-ft fence, and then taking it down.
It is OK if once in a while the deer decide to jump the fence and kill a couple of plants. We're fencing in something like 100 young trees here, so the loss of a few is worthwhile in exchange for not having to overbuild the fence.
Thanks for sharing your experience, and any recommendations for good suppliers would be very welcome.
Depending on the layout, it may be easier to fence individual trees than the entire area. For example, I recently put individual fences around 10 pecan trees using welded wire and t-posts. The fence only needs to be high enough to prevent grazing pressure, as the deer shouldn’t want to jump into a small space. I attached a picture of what I did for reference.
If that is not desirable, my suggestion for an easily reusable fence (low-ish cost, long-ish lasting, using readily purchased materials) would be T-posts, insulators, and polywire tape. You can make an ok corner brace by bending a cattle panel into a 90 or the T-post brackets to avoid the need for wood corner posts, just limit how much you tighten the lines. The polywire is easy for animals to see and does not need tightened much.
I put up some electric fencing for my goats. The biggest worry I had was a good ground. Make sure your ground rod is deep enough to make your fence work properly.
Damp ground is a better ground than dry. Sandy soil is tough to ground.
Over in the big sandbox comm guys would sink an 8' ground rod and that would be the urination station to keep that sand moist. When they moved they simply abandoned the rod. (Spare the rod, spoil the comms?)
The best tip I can give you is if you decide to adopt this method of maintaining a good ground in dry/sandy conditions, aim well. My little brother found out the hard way what happens if your stream flys erratic. His was more intentional than erratic, but he won that bet! That's the kind of lesson that reverberates through several generations. His great grandkids will laugh about this misadventure, but will heed its warning!
ETC(SW) US Navy, retired
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