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The Fence Post

Protection from Coyotes

January 11, 2021 | by Joe Morrell

Coyote Makes a Quick Exit 

Coyotes--a force to be reckoned with:

 

As more undeveloped land is taken for housing lots and commercial areas, the natural habitat for wildlife gets increasingly restricted. Sightings of animals such as coyotes and deer are more frequent. Coyotes have adapted to the modern landscape in unique ways, especially now with their main predators such as wolves out of the way. Generally content to stay out of sight, a hungry coyote may make an appearance. They are resilient and their numbers are increasing in some areas despite efforts to control them. Closer at hand than one realizes, they create dens in forested areas, parks, and greenbelts; however, coyote attacks are actually rare and often linked to being fed by humans.

coyote head in profile with snow in background

Coyotes are a powerful and stealthy animal, yet there are strategies for avoiding dangerous interactions with them. If the presence of coyotes are an issue in your area and cause for concern, one of the best ways to stay safe is to build a wire fence. To protect against coyotes, it is best to use a six to eight-foot height. You can either bury 12 inches in the ground or bend it so it lays on top of the ground to the outside of the enclosure as an apron. This will discourage digging.

There are many choices of welded wire fencing and woven wire fencing meshes available:

Welded wire fencing - Galvanized Before Weld (GBW), Galvanized After Weld (GAW) and Vinyl Coated (VC) 

  • 14 gauge, 1" x 2" and 2" x 4" mesh
  • 12.5 gauge, 2" x 4" mesh
Woven wire fencing 

Here is an in-depth report on the increase and behavior of coyotes in cities and suburbs:

Welded Wire Mesh

For more about fencing out coyotes and other potentially aggressive animals, check out this blog.

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Topics: welded wire mesh, galvanized after, galvanized before, deer and wildlife fence, vinyl coated mesh

Fencing Out Chipmunks with Hardware Cloth

December 18, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

chipmunk with peanut

The Cute Pest

Seriously cute and seriously annoying, chipmunks are a major discourager for the home gardener. Their diet includes much of what you plant in your garden and around your house. To survive the winter, they of course harvest nuts in autumn, but their spring and summer diet is supplemented with the berries, vegetables, and bulbs that you hold dear. 

Fencing Them Out

To ward off chipmunks from your veggie or berry patch--strong, galvanized hardware cloth is the answer--¼ inch hardware cloth buried 6 to 12 inches deep and 2½ to 3 feet above ground. This ¼ inch hardware cloth will also keep other small rodents at bay. As added insurance against these intruders, attach 12 inches of metal flashing around the top of the hardware cloth--though admittedly unattractive, its wobbling and seeming instability deters squirrels and chipmunks. 

Also, vinyl-coated hardware cloth is an excellent option, offering many advantages:

  • durable
  • longest lifetime
  • easy to work with
  • excellent for underground barriers
  • double protection of galvanizing and vinyl coating resists rust and corrosion
  • attractive - black color blends with the background, becoming virtually invisible

There are other specifications of hardware wire cloth in addition to these - different gauges, different metals and woven meshes. Contact Louis Page for further information.

 Watch how these homesteaders' use hardware cloth to their advantage:

 

Now, a chipmunk in full harvest mode using those amazing cheek pouches:

 

Hardware Cloth

For sealing up openings to buildings, use ¼ inch hardware cloth to keep out rodents and chipmunks.  

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Topics: hardware cloth, vinyl coated hardware cloth

Aussie Dog Fence Sets Record

December 5, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

Farmers vs. Dingoes

Australian farmers will go a long way to keep dingoes out of their paddocks. Extending over three thousand miles, the world's longest fence is being repaired: 

 

For more on the great Down Under, check out our blog about Emu Fences.

Farm and Field Fence

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Topics: woven wire

Rebuilding an Agricultural Fence

November 23, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

The wonderful folks from Bekaert step in to help renew a major pastural fence with high tensile woven wire and barbed wire. A classic demonstration using a gripple, a stretcher bar, and a new-fangled staple gun.

 

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Topics: woven wire, galvanized, how to

Protecting Trees from Rutting Bucks

November 4, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

 

chloe-leis-5tUjISNcptg-unsplash

Bucks and Antlers

During rut, between late September through November, a buck is after a doe. He advertises his desire by rubbing the summer-grown velvet off his antlers, thereby leaving his scent and establishing his territory, communicating his dominance over rivals with the hope that a doe will take notice. A buck will also rub the glands of his face and underside onto trees and branches. Not only do the bucks rub the trees, but they hit the trees noisily to announce their presence. Trees take another hit as rubbing occurs in late winter as the bucks seek to shed their antlers

rut tree

The Damages

The ravages to a tree from a rutting buck will start at about a foot off the ground up to 5 feet generally and a considerable amount of destruction can happen within the first 24 hours of this assault. Girdling, rubbing the bark layer off around the circumference of the tree will ultimately kill the tree, whereas patches of rubbed-off bark will stress the tree. The tree will then set out to heal itself and will be weakened or possibly die on the side or sides of the tree that have been roughed up. Externally the tree will show a scar. Another type of damage occurs in winter when deer can be literally starving and will eat the lower parts of a tree, including its bark. This damage can vary from year to year depending on the length and severity of the winter. For a buck, nutrition is key to the growth of antlers, a sign to females of his strength and suitability for breeding. Once deer become established in an area, they'll return and it can be very difficult to rid them from your land.

Tree bark scarred by rutting bucks

Which trees are damaged?

Regrettably, a buck is just as likely to damage a young, vulnerable tree as he is a mature tree and its branches. A young tree is particularly threatened if the sapwood is exposed over the winter. As far as varieties go, there does seem to be a preference for fragrant species such as pine, elm, spruce, sassafras, and cedar. Other common saplings to protect (up to 5 inches in diameter) are birches, maples, lindens, and magnolias. Upon realization that your trees and plants have become a victim to deer damage, immediate action is required. 

What's that around the base of those trees? 

An excellent method of protection is to create cages for trees, particularly young trees.  Use 4 T posts and 5 foot tall heavy fencing to surround a tree (at least 5 feet in diameter), secured with Zip-ties. Galvanized or Vinyl coated wire fencing is tough and long-lasting: our 14 gauge mesh with 2" x 2" openings, and particularly our mesh with 2" x 4" openings would be excellent choices (and this size mesh would keep beavers out as well.) Remember that black vinyl coated wire blends better into the environment than green. Sturdy fence wire is important--lightweight chicken wire could collapse onto the tree and damage the bark. Wrapping a tree with burlap or specially made papers for trees do not provide enough protection from a rutting buck. Deer repellents just don't do the job that good fence wire will do in protecting a growing tree.

These cages are to guard a small number of trees. To protect an orchard or a large number of trees, you are in need of deer and wildlife fence. Fencing out rabbits and various rodents, who eat the bark off the base of your tree can be controlled by a mesh with smaller openings. Louis Page has all kinds of blogs about fencing deer out. Just do a search on our main page for a wide variety of possibilities and the aspects you are interested in or are struggling with.  

So what is a deer destroying?

The bark on the outside of a tree can be thought of as the first line of its defense. Here is the tree's outer edge of protection from whatever elements are affecting it. Keeping moisture out, bark guards the tree against inundation but it also helps to retain moisture in periods of low precipitation or drought. Just inside this outer bark is the inner bark, a layer that manages infestations, diseases, burrowing insects, and guards the tree from cold as well. Just underneath this is a very crucial thin layer in which nutrients are passed through the tree. The inner cambium layer (xylem) passes nutrients and water up from the roots; the outer cambium layer (phloem) brings food through photosynthesis from the leaves down the tree, distributing sugars which aid growth and the creation of bark. Excess phloem makes the bark; the old xylem tissue makes the wood of the tree.

Here are some videos that will get you started protecting your trees:

 

 

Galvanized After Welded Wire Mesh\

 

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, 12.5 gauge, steel fence posts, deer and wildlife fence

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