I have been looking towards the upcoming spring and considering that we are in the last few days of Winter, now is the time to think on this. Something that has been concerning me is the fruit from my orchid last year. In short, they were blitzed by the local birdlife and I lost a huge amount of fruit. Chief casualties were the early fruiting cherries and plums. I mentioned last year that I would net off the trees to prevent a repeat occurrence. So, with a spring in my step I set out early Sunday morning to do some pruning of my cherry tree (the one with which I am most concerned) and then to deploy my net. I had to cut off a lot of the previous season growth that had moved in directions which were undesirable… such as branches which crossed paths, branches growing into the interior of the tree, and some of the high reaching sprouts.
This took much longer than expected as I kept being distracted when I came across another tree to work on. I cut some of these other trees in my yard to allow more light to my fruit trees, and once a limb was removed I cut it to smaller lengths to be used as fire wood next year. When I finally believed I had finished with my pruning of the cherry tree I collected the two 10m by 5m woven nets and started to consider how they would be deployed. So I stood there, before the tree, and realised I had no idea how to get it to keep birds from the fruit. I could easily get it over the tree, yet how would I secure the net so there were no holes which could be used by birds?
After 10 minutes of going through the situation in my mind I decided to just have a go at it… I hoped that in the process of spreading out the net I would realise the answer and put it into practice. I tied a small limb to the end of the net and after swinging it I tossed it over the tree. I then had to climb the tree (which for my 140kg, 2m tall, frame was pretty scary) and start to spread out the net. It was a tiresome process, with the net catching on every single bud and branch. Kitty assisted with feeding me the extra net and helping to untangle it from the ground level, yet after an hour of work I realised that the whole process was fruitless (no pun intended). I stopped and decided I would take a break to give the problem more thought.
I recalled the way I had seen some other people use nets, and they use a frame to keep the net well above the top of the tree. I also did a search on Youtube and found this video which makes it look like the easiest process in the world.
This looks much easier and if I can actually remove the net I placed on the tree might be something I will try. If it doesn’t work then I might have to go to the idea of building a wooden frame to surround the orchid, on which I can install a net.