We have a fantastic array of fruit trees in our orchard. Apples, pears, cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots, figs, to name a few. The trees are about five years old, and they are starting to get a reasonable amount of fruit on them now. We decided it was time to protect them from the birds. Sulphur crested cockatoos, and galahs have caused chaos in previous years – taking great big bites out of 90% of the fruit. I wouldn’t mind if they finished the one they start on, and leave the rest alone, but they don’t! And they LOVE the almonds. Even before they are close to being ripe, they have cracked open the hard casing and demolished the soft kernel inside.
This is the orchard before the nets went on. Its hard to see in this pic, but the trees are espaliered onto wires, and we have a dripper hose running along the bottom wire, for watering. Its a nice view from the orchard! I’m starting to get berries to establish in between the trees. So far I’ve planted raspberries, loganberries and gooseberries. Very keen to get some blueberries planted before too long.
Here’s what the orchard looks like now. We bought one big long roll of netting, thinking that that was probably the easiest way, rather than netting each individual tree. It probably isn’t quite wide enough, as I’d like it to go right down to the ground. We were thinking next year we will buy another identical roll, and try sewing the two together, giving us double the width. Hopefully this will slow the cockies down!