How To Protect Cherry Trees From Birds ( Top 7 Methods )

If you have been growing cherry trees for some time already then you know that cherries are one of the favorite foods of many birds. Even if the birds do not eat all of the cherries they will still damage some of the fruits, which eventually rot away or get eaten by insects. Birds can get especially problematic if you have a lot of cherry trees, as oftentimes many birds will simply focus on eating as many cherries as possible, rather than looking for other food sources.

There are several ways on how to protect your cherry trees from birds, but not all of them will be ideal for you. If you have one or two cherry trees then you will have a relatively easy time protecting them from the birds and insects. On the other hand, if you have a cherry orchard then you are extremely limited on what you can do to keep the birds away, but with some out-of-the-box thinking, you will be able to resolve the problem.

Birds are a vital part of a cherry orchard by eating bugs they actually protect the cherry trees, but more often than not some birds will start eating the cherries as well. The better pollinated your cherry trees are the more cherries you will have, and even if the birds eat some of them you will still have plenty, for more information check out my recent article How To Attract Pollinators To Vegetable Garden ( In 7 Easy Steps ).

How To Protect Cherry Trees From Birds

In my personal experience as a gardener, I have found effective methods to protect my cherished cherry trees from birds. One reliable technique is to use bird netting to cover the entire tree. I carefully drape the netting over the tree, ensuring it reaches all the way to the ground and is secured tightly. This creates a physical barrier that prevents birds from reaching the delicious cherry fruits. Another method I employ is the use of scare devices, such as reflective tape, wind chimes, or plastic predators, strategically placed around the tree. The movement and noise generated by these items deter birds from approaching and feasting on the cherries.

Additionally, I often keep my cherry trees well-pruned to maintain their size and shape, making it easier to cover them with netting and ensuring there are no low-hanging branches that birds can access.

Provide Water For The Birds

On hot summer days, most birds will rather eat a couple of cherries than fly a couple of miles away to the nearest watering hole. Something like a bird waterer will keep off the birds who eat the cherries due to their water content. Although you will not completely eliminate the problem but you will significantly reduce the number of birds that go for the cherries. Place the bird waterer in a shaded spot, and make sure to refill it and clean it from time to time. In case slugs are damaging the cherry tree leaves or the cherries then check out my recent article What Attracts Slugs ( Top 10 Things ).

Providing An Alternative Source Of Food

Birds are simple creatures, they will choose an easy and accessible source of food over hunting and foraging. As long as you provide a highly nutritious food source for the birds they will keep away from your cherry trees, just don’t forget to provide water as well for them. Identify what kind of birds are eating your cherries and simply search online what their favorite food is. Just keep in mind that this is a two-edged sword, the more food you provide the more birds will come to your orchard.

Install Netting

Bird netting is probably one of your best solutions especially if you have a large cherry orchard. Simply place the bird netting on top of the cherry trees and make sure that the birds can not get inside the netting from below. Some birds will still try to peck away at the cherries that are on the outer perimeter of the tree so you might still notice some damaged cherry trees. Make sure that you sprayed your trees for pests as some of them will thrive under the netting as they are protected from the birds. In case you have a flowerbed for better pollination of your cherry trees then check out my recent article Best Mulch For Flower Beds ( Top 9 Mulches ).

Use Scarecrows

Birds are relatively low in the food chain, which means that they have a lot of predators and they can get easily scared off. Now I am not telling you to install a scarecrow, although for some that will work. My personal recommendation is to use scarecrows that look like predators for the birds, like snakes, cats, and birds of prey. Make a quick Google search what are the most common birds of prey or snakes that feed on birds and use sculptures or scarecrows of them.

Make sure to rotate these scarecrows as with time the birds will get used to them and will no longer be afraid of them. Birds will pay more attention to things that actually move, and the best part about it is that sudden movement scares them.

Noise Makers

Noisemakers scare away the birds by making noise at a certain frequency that only birds will actually hear. Some people claim that these noisemakers work for them while others claim that they do not see any noticeable effect on the birds. You have to do some research and figure out which one would be the best fit for your situation. Birds hear at different frequencies, so a noisemaker that works on a specific frequency may or may not work for all birds.

Electronic Bird Repellent

Electronic bird repellents have a motion sensor, and once the sensor is activated it will do a certain action, from loud noises, to spraying, and so on, it depends on what kind of electronic bird repellent you get. Although electronic bird repellents do work, but only if you have a couple of cherry trees and not if you have a large cherry orchard.

Bird Repellant

Brid repellent sprays contain special chemicals that birds do not like and for the most part, they will avoid the area. There are even organic bird repellent sprays on the market which are also good. The bad news is that rain tends to wash away these bird repellent sprays rather quickly, and even if it doesn’t rain you will still have to spray the area at least once every month.

Key Takeaways

  • Use bird netting to create a physical barrier around the cherry trees. Ensure that the netting is properly secured and covers the entire tree canopy to prevent birds from accessing the fruit.
  • Hang shiny objects such as aluminum foil strips, CDs, or reflective tape near the cherry trees. The reflective surfaces will create flashes of light that can scare away birds. You can also use scarecrows or owl decoys to create the illusion of a predator presence.
  • Install wind chimes, bells, or use a motion-activated device that emits bird distress calls or predator sounds. The sudden noises and unfamiliar sounds will make birds wary and discourage them from landing on the cherry trees.