Three Methods:Installing DeterrentsUsing BarriersPruning the TreesCommunity Q&A
While birds may look pretty and sound nice in your yard, you may want to prevent them from taking up permanent residency in your trees. Birds will often eat fruit like apples or oranges on trees. Certain birds, like magpies and sparrows, will also scare away smaller birds and build nests on branches. To keep birds out of your trees, you can use deterrents like shiny ribbons and moving devices. You can also put up barriers and prune the trees to deter birds from perching on them.
1 Installing Deterrents
Hang CD-roms from string in the trees. Birds do not like reflective surfaces and will be scared away by the CD-roms, especially when they reflect bright sunlight. Tie string around the CD-roms and attach one per tree branch. Hang them 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) down from the branches.
- If you are trying to deter birds from fruit-bearing trees, harvest the fruit and then remove the CD-roms. You can put them back up next year as the trees start to bear fruit to keep birds away.
- You can also use pie plates instead of CD-roms, as they are also reflective. Poke holes through the pie plates and tie string to them. Then, attach one pie plate per branch.
Tie shiny ribbons to the branches. Shiny ribbons will also deter birds from hanging out in your trees. Get ribbons made of shiny material in bright colors like red, yellow, or orange.
- Make sure you replace the shiny ribbons after a storm or bad weather so they are effective.
Use shiny, scary looking balloons in the trees. Get balloons with scary faces that are made of shiny material. Balloons with menacing bird faces are ideal, as they will fool the birds into thinking there are predators in the trees. Tie them onto the tree branches with string.
- You will need to move the balloons around the trees once a week so the birds think they are alive.
Place a scarecrow at the base of the trees. Make a scarecrow out of straw and wood that is half the size of the trees. Dress the scarecrow in a hat or a shirt. The birds will think it is human and stay away.
- You will need to change the position of the scarecrow once a week so the birds think it is a real person.
- You should also change the scarecrow’s appearance by putting a hat on it or an item of clothing.
Try a decoy hawk or owl. You can buy decoy hawks made out of plastic at your local hardware store or online. Birds are scared of hawks and owls and will assume the decoy is real.
- You will need to move the hawk or owl around to a different spot in the trees every few days so the birds think it is alive.
Use a moving device. A moving device like a spider that wiggles or a hawk that makes screeching noises can scare the birds away. Look for moving devices at your local hardware store or online. Hang them from the trees so they can deter the birds.
- Most moving devices run on batteries. You will need to swap out the batteries regularly so the devices keep working.
- Sometimes moving devices can be annoying to people, as they will release a high pitched sounds regularly.
Get a bird sound deterrent for the trees. Look for a bird sound deterrent at your local hardware store or online. These devices send out bird distress calls to keep birds away. Hang them in your trees.
- These deterrents use batteries so you will need to replace them regularly.
- Most sound deterrents use sound waves that cannot be detected by humans, only by birds. You should not be bothered by these devices.
2 Using Barriers
Drape the trees with plastic netting. Netting is a great way to deter birds and protect fruit bearing trees. Use bamboo poles, fence posts, or tall stakes to create a frame around the tree. Then, drape the netting over the frame so it reaches the ground. Use wire to anchor the netting to the ground so it does not move.
- Netting that has been well anchored will usually stay in place despite wind or rough weather.
- Keep in mind that barriers like plastic netting may not look the most attractive on your trees, but they will help keep birds away.
2Put chicken wire over the trees. Make a net out of chicken wire and drape it over the trees. Use bricks or wood to secure the bottom of the chicken wire so it does not blow away or move.
Use reflective tape. You can also put a layer of reflective tape over the tree branches to keep birds out. Use flash tape that makes a crinkling sound, as the sound will also deter the birds.
- Make sure you secure the tape by tying it to a piece of wire in the ground.
3 Pruning the Trees
Cut off overgrown branches. Use a clean pair of garden shears to prune branches that are overgrown or damaged. Remove branches that cross each other or that are growing inward, towards the tree trunk. Cut the branches at a 45 degree angle, pruning them just above the tree trunk.
- Removing branches on the tree will give the birds less of a surface area for perching. This can deter them from spending too much time in the trees. It will also encourage the tree to grow well.
Trim the trees regularly. Prune the trees in late fall or winter so it has time to recover and grow in. Trim the trees so they maintain their shape and do not become overgrown.
- Only trim 25 percent or less of the tree at one time. Over trimming the tree can actually cause it to become more overgrown and out of control..
- If you have fruit bearing trees, make sure you harvest the fruit once it is ready to be picked so birds stay away.
Hire an arborist to cut the trees for you. If you are unsure how to prune your trees properly, look for a local arborist who can do this for you. Search online for a reputable arborist who has experience cutting your tree type. Once they inspect your trees, you can then ask them how to maintain the trees so birds stay away.
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What if I want a bird in the tree?
If you want a bird in your tree, then you should not use these methods. Instead, try enticing birds to your tree by hanging a bird feeder.