window screen vs. hardware cloth vs. ?

Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by weekender21, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

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    I'm planting my first apple trees in a few weeks. NWC selected 24 trees for me to try and I'm excited to see them as they have been highly recommended on this site and others. I'm going to cage them with 5' welded wire and will either use weed mats or gly for weed control, depending on the terrain.

    I have experience planting with cages and tubes but have not protected trunks inside my cages and would like advise on the most effective methods. Between window screen, harware cloth, short (2') tubes, or some other method; what do you recommend and why? Please post pictures if possible. I'm really looking for "fire and forget" options as I do not get to visit my land often.

    What about gravel in addition to trunk protection?

    Thank you!
     
  2. DLH

    DLH Active Member

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    I just started using window screen. I didn’t protect them until someone I know had their trees girdled. I bought a 100 ft roll by 36 in. I will cut that roll in half for a height of 18in. I’m considering cutting it into 12 sections. I don’t know how long I will cut them maybe 12 then fold over and staple the ends together. You may need a taller height depending on snow depth but we don’t get much and I think 18in is good for my area.
     
  3. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

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    I did purchase some rigid plastic mesh tree protectors from Amazon last year. I used a few on the chestnuts but decided not to prune all the lower branches so they didn't work on all my trees. I think the ones I bought are 36" tall.
     
  4. H20fwler

    H20fwler Member

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    All I use is aluminum window screen, mice/voles/bunnies can't chew through it and it last a long time and protects the trunk of a caged tree perfectly.
     
  5. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

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    Do you use standard staples to attach it to the trunk? What’s the best way to secure it to the ground so they can’t get underneath?


    Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
     
  6. Keith Nehrke

    Keith Nehrke Member

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    Be sure to use aluminum and not fiberglass window screen. Bury it 2" deep, right up to the root ball. I use pieces that are 24" tall and doubled over on themselves, then stapled at the seam every 4" from top to bottom. The drawback is that it makes it difficult to apply white latex paint or a wrap to prevent sun scald, but thus far it seems as if the doubled mesh screen does the job itself. Permeable ground cloth to reduce weeds followed by either wood chips (not mulch, which attracts rodents) or stone seals the deal.

    [​IMG]
     
    Cap'n and dogghr like this.
  7. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

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    Looks good Keith, thanks!
     
  8. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    I do as was shown with metal window screen but I don't double it and standard staples. I use the same to protect the leader on pines from deer browse.
     
  9. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

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    Cool, thank you for the replies! The more pictures the better but I have a pretty good idea. I’ll document my work thoroughly so you all can make fun of me!


    Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
     
  10. buckvelvet

    buckvelvet Active Member

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    With a doubt aluminum window screen, its not overly expensive and can be stretched out over numerous trees.
     

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