Orchard electric fence help


Active Member
I'm looking to add a 5 strand electric fence to protect my orchard trees from bears, not really worried about deer, but the bears will flat out DESTROY my trees in no time. The small part of my orchard (it's split in 2 by the driveway) is just under 1/4 acre but is SUPER rocky, so much so that I can't even put Tposts or rebar into the ground. I've been contemplating a few ideas of how to set up my e-fence & was thinking of concrete bases w/ the Tposts set in them but I've got a lot of logs up here & was thinking that I'd use some 22-26" dia. logs & cut them down to maybe 14-16" high, drill holes in them & hammer the Tposts in those holes (w/ the FEL) to hold it steady. Whatcha think? Any tips or ideas are greatly appreciated!
Wow, I feel a lot better about caging our trees here in SE Kansas, don’t think I’ll ever complain about it again. That’s a LOT of work you’re taking about!
i got similar story to you...deer are literally least of my worries. I thought i had it bad w/ rocks by me but i can at least with some digging pull out enough rocks to burying posts unless they end up being we call em "cadillac" rocks as they are as big as that sometimes.

sounds like you may be stuck on using logs...all the power to you, i just don't know if I would be all in on wood logs on top of rocks to keep my fence up. Probably would work okay, not sure if your logs will split or over short period of time split open.

Just a thought, but can you use all that rock to your advantage?....buy mortar and attach like deck blocks to the stone to create a base for a 4x4 post? i really dont' know how well will hold together or if you deal w/ frost heaving, but they did it for years at building foundations for barns and houses the old mortar and stone. As matter of fact our farm house foundation was built in early 1900s from the rocks they picked in the field and slapped some mortar and the thing still holds strong today.
As fun as they are to watch, bears will wreak havoc an anything! We've seen mirrors broke off our vehicles, bears on top of our SUV, bears on both our front & back porches, etc. We've got some darn big rocks here but a lot are softball to basketball size & moveable. That's how we got the trees in the ground. They were also bare root & it was a lot of work w/ ditch spades & digging bars... You'll laugh but my cages in this orchard are sitting on the ground & since I couldn't get Tposts or rebar in to secure them, I took rebar, cut them down to 6' lengths & laid 2 through the bottom of each cage, then put a lg. rock on each end of the rebars to anchor the cages. Works great but I've been pinching my fruit & wouldn't stand a chance of keeping bears out w/ this method once I let them produce.

I'm planning on my bottom wire at 8" high to solve the problem of bears crawling under, then wires every 8-10"? or so. Another big ticket ? I have is should I run all 5 strands as hot wires or alternate hot & ground wires? From my research, alternating is best when you've got soil that doesn't ground well but then they have to touch 2 adjacent wires to get shocked. Guess I could run multiple grounding rods but I'm leaning towards all 5 wires as hot. But not 100% sure if that's the right thing to do...

I'm a tree guy (arborist) so using logs is natural for me, messing w/ mortar & all these d*mn rocks up here prob. drive me nuts haha. Plus, I've got tons of logs right here, ready to be ripped down to length. I can grab them w/ my tractor grapple & move them exactly where I want them, drill them, & push the Tposts in w/ the FEL. Gonna try one & see how it works out & how it holds up w/ some pressure pushing & pulling on it....