Squirrels knocking the fruit off of fruit trees.
Dear Master Gardener, I've planted various fruit trees on my property. I'm having a terrible problem with squirrels knocking the fruit off the trees starting 4 -5 weeks before the fruit is ready to pick. Netting does not deter the squirrels at all. I waited 8 years for my seckel pear to fruit and they stripped the trees clean. Do you have any suggestions? Please see the picture attached of my (netted) peach tree. Thank you, Janet
Anne Arundel County Maryland
We know that is frustrating.
Short of actually building a frame that keeps them from knocking them down, it is difficult to say what is best. Sometimes in dry weather (it didn't rain almost at all during September) putting out pans of water stops them from taking bites out of fruits and vegetables.
Another thought is trapping, but we refer you to the Nuisance Wildlife Hotline to discuss this:
To find out about safe and legal ways to deal with these problem animals, or to locate individuals or companies who are licensed by the Wildlife & Heritage Service to handle wildlife complaints,call 1-877-463-6497.