That’s all fine and good when you’re planting in your back yard. A bit harder when you’re trying to establish an orchard in a remote location such as a bug out location.
Significantly harder when said location is rife with deer and other things that like to eat young trees.
Aside from the current occupants of your location, your trees are at risk from one other thing. Water. Rather, the lack thereof.
But first things first. Keeping things from eating your trees. It’s one thing when you’re there and your dogs can keep them away. Completely different issue when you aren’t there all that much.
Back to your fruit trees. There’s big critters that like to eat them and little critters that like to eat them too.
For little critters like gophers, you need to put 1/2″ (or better yet, 3/4″) hardware cloth around the trunk. 1″ is too big. You’re looking for the rolled hardware cloth that’s about 4′ wide.
To be specific, you want to make a little tube out of the hardware cloth, about 2-3′ wide. Bury it so that about a foot or foot and a half is buried under the ground and the rest is sticking up. The buried part keeps the gophers out and the part above ground keeps out the rabbits and such.
Depending on your area you may want to provide secondary trunk protection for a while as well. You can get specially designed trunk tubes, or just use window screen material.
Now on to the big stuff. Now granted, you’re not going to be able to do anything if Mr Black Bear decides to come after your trees. But that’s not particularly likely. Deer, on the otherhand…way more likely.
Now if you’re going to put in fencing, go for it. At LEAST 8′ high, and it’s best to embed the bottom several inches into the ground too.
Another alternative is a ‘Double Fence’ that is a primary fence (a regular 5-6′ fence would work here) and a secondary perimiter fence. That fence can be as simple as three strands of high tensile wire four feet or so outside the primary fence.
For smaller orchards, you might consider building a single fence per tree. To do that, you’ll need 6′ deer fencing and four 8′ T-Posts.
You want to take the posts and make a 10′ by 10′ square. Obviously your tree is in the middle of said square. Drive the posts 2′ into the ground on the corners of that square.
Finally, use baling wire to attach the deer fencing to your posts, making a square fence around the tree. For best results, use three or four attachment points on each post when installing the fencing.
Later this week … unattended watering solutions!