Figs vs. Deer and Birds?

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)August 9, 2011

First year fig grower here. I have 3 figs trees in containers and two plants have figs on them. I'm starting to worry about some nasty beast getting my figs before I do.

I can move the pots inside a fenced in area to protect them from deer so I should be ok there, but what about birds? Do they eat figs? They just about ruined my plum harvest. Should I cover the figs with with netting to protect them? Is that necessary?

Also, are there any other critters that I should worry about? Squirrels? Raccons? And back to my first question, do I need to move them inside the fenced in area to protect them from deer?



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wertach zone 7-B SC

Deer, squirrels, and raccoons don't mess with mine, they prefer my beans and peas. I have problems with birds, bees, and ants though. I have never tried netting because my fig tree is way too big to net.

Sorry that I can't really help, but someone will probably come along and give you an answer, this is a great site!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 3:19PM
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harvey12(z7 NC)

Deer will occasionally nibble a few tender leaf shoots, but they generally don't bother. Birds are the major problem, and netting is the only practical answer. One must be careful to COMPLETELY cover the fruit. Buy a big net, which will drape all the way to the ground, and use bricks or some other heavy object to weight down the edges. Squirrels will also occasionally steal a ripe fig, but they are not generally a problem. Bird nets come in a variety of sizes. I suggest a 30 X 30 foot net. A common size is a 6 X 30 foot size, which I have used, but it usually requires two, at right angles to each other over the tree, and even then, gaps in the net fail to keep the birds out. Go ahead and invest in the bigger one. I am assuming that your tree is five or six feet tall, since that is the usual size for a fruit bearing tree.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 3:56PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Thanks Harvey!

Have you (or anyone) ever tried bagging the figs? I've used cloth bags over my plums and peaches with good success as protection against birds.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 7:22PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Birds do eat my figs so I net my tree when the figs are about to be ripe.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 1:26AM
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harvey12(z7 NC)

Yes, I have tried bagging, with little success. I tried a mesh bag, such as those containing fruits and veggies. The birds will try to peck through the bag. A paper bag prevents you from seeing the fruit, and delays ripening. If you are willing to place bird netting over a single limb with several clusters of fruit, this would probably work. That is a lot of effort for a small number of figs. That is why the whole tree bird net is my answer.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:35PM
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