How do I keep squirrels away from my nuts?

paaduunDecember 31, 2006

I spent a lot of time this past summer/autumn gathering acorns and hickory nuts of all types. white oaks, red oaks, shagbark, shellbark and everything inbetween.

I prepared a large site for my planting and then planted the nuts all in straight rows. I marked my rows with masonry line and stakes so I would know where to not roundup in the spring.

Those damn squirrels - they used my masonry line as a guide and dug up nearly all my nuts. I put up a rabbit fence to keep the rabbits out for when the saplings come up in the spring - but i'm guessing that a rabbit fence will do nothing to stop the squirrels.

Does anyone have experience at keeping squirrels out of direct planted acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts?

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maifleur01

put the rabbit fence on the ground and weigh it down, spikes, blocks, rocks, pieces of wood. Chicken wire works better rabbit fencing if what you are calling rabbit fencing is the wire with 6 sided weave. Chicken wire is 1 to 1/2 inch squares. Remove or raise as plants appear.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 11:03PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I agree with maifleur.......lay 1" chicken wire, or better yet 1/2" hardware cloth over the entire area. Weight it down with rocks/pieces of 2x4's/landscape staples, etc. As soon as you see growth, remove it and put up a vertical fence, since leaving these flat fences in place might cause seedling to grow crooked around the fencing......plus, you'd have trouble getting the fencing up.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 2:24PM
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nyssaman(Z6 ON)

Thats an easy one - put some pants on when you go out to feed the birds.

Cheers

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 3:14PM
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esh_ga

Well, I doubt they used the masonry line as a guide (smile). I think their sense of smell was the primary means of locating them.

When I plant nuts in pots, I put a small piece of hardware cloth (wire) over the pot or group pots together and then put a big piece of it over the whole group and weigh it down with rocks.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 8:15AM
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yardmom

Just make sure its the metal hardware cloth. The plastic they eat holes right through!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 3:18PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I thought "hardware cloth" always meant wire.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:18PM
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leighlogan

Hi-squirrels are allergic to peppermint oil-just buy some 100% peppermint oil (4fl. for about $9.00-will last a lifetime)put about 8 drops in a gal. and spray.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 11:12PM
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yardmom

The plastic I bought was called 'plastic hardware cloth'.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 8:19AM
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paaduun

The hardwire cloth is a good idea and if I do a small direct planting in the future I will use. However, I planted an area of aprx 100 x 100 so i don't really want to spend big bucks buying 10K sq ft of hardwire cloth. Hopefully I buried such an enormous amount of nuts that the squirrels missed 5% which will still make a decent forest in 40 years. AND they didn't touch my tulip poplar seeds!

NYSSAMAN - I will craft myself a jock strap out of hardwire for when I feed the birds to protect that set :)

I'll give the peppermint oil a try - it's budget!!

Thanks All!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 4:14PM
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starfyre(z8 wa)

Wow! Peppermint oil seriously works??? I'm gonna try that on my tulips! I had come into the forum looking for a cure to my squirrel woes and VOILA! answer found on first shot! I just planted a TON of tulips and was in desperate need of advice cause last time I did that I lost all 140 of them to the crazy a$$ squirrels I seem to be breeding here. They missed one, so for the last 5 years I've had one lone tulip each year. Finally planted a 100 buddies to keep it company. Now to bring in the armed forces to protect them all.

Wait - would peppermint plants work too?? If one wanted to give it a patch to go wild would it be enough to deter the squirrels from coming too close to that area of the yard?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 12:15PM
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organic_plantman

Hehehehe those chicken wire jock straps I would think would be quite chaffing!!!!!!;)

You could try caging your nuts!!!!!;)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 7:49AM
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ninecats

you can try wearing long pants

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 11:44AM
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nyssaman(Z6 ON)

well i have 67 shag hick seeds that Im afraid to plant I planted a tray of bur oaks and the squirrels destroyed that tray I had a black garbage pail on wheels that i kept my bird seed including peanuts there was like a 5 inch hole chewed through the bottom of it. I dont think they like gingko seeds though lol - found one seed split in 2 sitting on a plug tray. Watch out for the grackles too there sneaky little bastards. I caught one a couple of times heading out of my shade set up where I have my beech seedlings he was in there diggin away havin lunch - stop touchin my nuts I screamed. then he flew away laughin at me

cheers

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 11:24PM
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tomada

I'd try feeding them more often.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 12:48PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

I don't think feeding the squirrels would help - in fact I think it would make it worse. The number of squirrels in your yard is determined by the amount of food - more food would mean more squirrels, which would mean more restless rodents that would find your bulbs. Even if they have all the feed they want from a feeder, squirrels will still eat lots of other foods, like bulbs, that they find in the yard.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 11:33AM
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artsygirl89

I agree, though I love the critters, they have left perfect little holes in all my beds...and I don't have any bulbs planted! (Its a good thing, because from what I can see, I wouldn't have any left if I tried!)

I have also read that sprinkling blood meal or Critter Ritter works, anyone tried these?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:12PM
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ibageek_hotmail_com

I put an oscillating sprinkler, one of those long ones that go back and forth, under my almond tree and it seems to scare them off. I don't have it so high that it gets the tree wet, though.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 3:02PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

I have so many hickory seedlings popping up in my planting beds I can't pull them fast enough. The squirrels did the planting for me, and forgot about them.

How do I keep the squirrels' nuts out of my bed?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 5:57PM
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