How to Protect Fruit Trees and Shrubs from Birds, Squirrels & Other Pests

How to Protect Fruit Trees and Shrubs from Birds, Squirrels & Other Pests

There are lots of cheap or free methods you can use to help protect your fruit trees and shrubs from pests like squirrels and birds, such as hanging aluminum pie plates or old CDs from the trees branches to scare them off.  You can also buy reflective bird tape to hang from the branches or place an owl decoy nearby to scare away birds.

We have quite a bit of time and money invested in grapes, blueberries, limes, lemons and satsuma trees and its a fight every year to keep the birds and squirrels from stealing most of our delicious crops so I’ve tried all sorts of things to keep these rude invaders away. All of the above methods are helpful in keeping birds and squirrels away from your fruit trees and shrubs, but they’re not foolproof and the critters are smart and get used to these tricks after awhile. I really wanted to cover my fruit trees and bushes completely to keep everything out so we devised these simple domes using irrigation tubing to use as a framework for wildlife netting.

How to Protect Fruit Trees and Shrubs from Birds, Squirrels & Other Pests

To create these domes to cover the plants we used 5/8″ irrigation tubing, T posts, zip ties, clamps and wildlife netting (1). Place four of the T posts around the tree or bush to be protected (2), leaving enough room for growth, then attach pieces of irrigation tubing to the tops of the T posts (3) criss crossing them at the top (4). We had to use pliers to squeeze the tops of the T posts a little bit so the tubing would slide over them, then secured the tubing in place with clamps (5) from the plumbing department. A zip tie at the top (6) helps stabilize the framework and we also used zip ties to attach the wildlife netting to the frame.

How to Protect Fruit Trees and Shrubs from Birds, Squirrels & Other Pests

We used the same technique to cover this loaded blueberry bush but since it is much lower to the ground we used 1/2″ PVC pipe instead of the T posts that we needed to add height to protect the fruit trees. You’ll need four 2-foot pieces of PVC pipe, hammer them about halfway into the ground, then slide the irrigation tubing over them and complete your dome as described above.

How to Protect Fruit Trees and Shrubs from Birds, Squirrels & Other Pests

After covering the blueberry bush in the previous photo I decided that we needed more so the kids and I planted four more of them and adjusted the dome to make room. All we had to do was rearrange the two original pieces of tubing, cut one more and place it over two more pieces of PVC pipe as shown in the photo. Once we’ve harvested the fruit we’ll store the tubes and posts in the storage building until next year and use them again!

Do you have any tips or tricks for protecting your fruit and veggie crops?


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  1. THANK YOU so much for this information! We have a couple blueberry bushes, which start out loaded with blueberries, but before they get ripe they’re GONE! We will definitely be using your method of protecting the bushes/berries, and are looking forward to actually eating some of our own blueberries!!!

  2. These are great tips! I have a hard time keeping bunnies away from my plants. I’ve had to make my own covers to protect them as well.

  3. I really need to incorporate some of these! Since we live in the country our yard is visiting by all kinds of critters! Right now the bunnies seem to be in full visit mode!

  4. Yes – it’s that time of year! The bunnies are so cute, until they start eating all my food 😀

  5. Thanks Apryl! I’d love to hear how you cover your plants!

  6. Awesome! Hope you have tons of blueberries this year!

  7. Great tips! We live in the middle of the woods and often have problems deterring animals from our fruit trees. We have found the fake owl works great!

  8. Thanks for ideas, looks great!

  9. Really great tips!! I don’t have fruit trees, but I have a lot of critters that like to run through my yard!!

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