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have you put up deer fence?

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have you put up deer fence?

Postby paul » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:34 pm

hi
have any readers put up a deer fence to protect your wood? (either yourself or by professionals)?

We're going to put up a deer fence around a section of our wood as an experiment, to see if we can help it regenerate. (At the moment heavy browsing by deer is preventing regeneration, so the wood is slowly dying.)

We're planning to use polypropene mesh (e.g Tenax). In many places we will be able to use tree trunks as uprights, but we will need to insert quite a few fence posts too. And of course we will need to make a gate, so we can get in and out. The experimental fence will have a perimeter 150 metres long, so not very big to start with. If it's a success, we'll do more.

Does anyone have experience of doing this as an DIY job? was it difficult? where is a good place to buy the mesh and wire? (we're in Hants near Southampton)

Cheers,
Paul
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Re: have you put up deer fence?

Postby davetb » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:17 pm

We put up a temporary deer fence a few years after coppicing about half an acre.
We put a wire around the periphery at about 5 foot high and 6 inches off the ground.
We cable tied the plastic fence to the 2 wires.
We used the lateral hazel trunks pollarded to about 6 foot high, with a hole for the wire drilled through the trunk ( at top & bottom).
I took a photo of an old crab apple smothered by ivy yesterday, but you can see the fence in the background, on the left. The hazel pollards are also clear, in the photo. I have yet to remove the all of fence as it's now stuck with brambles. We have removed one side - a quarter of our coupe.
It has worked really well.
The unprotected hazel is now dead.
Some sheep did get in but the didn't reach the tips of the coppice regrowth.
Large, solo hazel stools are a different problem. We leave 2 trunks, pollarded to 6 foot, at each side, coppice the rest and wrap 3metres of deer fence around the stool. That has also worked well. The central regrowth makes it, if some lateral growth gets eaten.
Now, I still don't know whether to cut the ivy on my crab apple.....
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Re: have you put up deer fence?

Postby paul » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:27 pm

Thanks - useful response.

Ivy: I'm reliably told it doesn't harm the tree except that it greatly increases winter windage, so makes the tree more vulnerable to being blown over in winter storms
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Re: have you put up deer fence?

Postby smojo » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:45 am

There seem to be arguments about whether ivy does or does not harm trees. I don't think there is a definitive answer to that. The main advantage of keeping ivy seems to be just that it is a home to many species of wildlife but if you remove it. I'm sure they will find another home. I'm just a novice but I think I'd cut the ivy on the basis that I'd rather keep the crab apple healthy and be able to see it, than the ivy.
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Re: have you put up deer fence?

Postby paul » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:54 am

Many thanks for the useful feedback Dave

So how much work was involved in putting up the deer fence?
And how many people were you?

How did you tension the mesh?
Where did you get it from ?

At the moment I am imagining a fairly straightforward job (but whenever I do that, it turns out to be unexpectedly difficult!)

Cheers,
Paul
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Re: have you put up deer fence?

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:38 am

a neighbouring plot holder had a section done professionally, but then also after watching/helping, bought the tools so he could do more himself, hopefully he will see this post and give you more details,prices etc

Image

we do have a boundary that would benefit from this, so will probably go the DIY route next year
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Re: have you put up deer fence?

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:43 am

paul wrote:And how many people were you?



I think he's only ever been the one person, except for Thursday's when he likes to be called Karen
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Re: have you put up deer fence?

Postby davetb » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:44 pm

paul wrote:Many thanks for the useful feedback Dave

So how much work was involved in putting up the deer fence?
And how many people were you?

How did you tension the mesh?
Where did you get it from ?

At the moment I am imagining a fairly straightforward job (but whenever I do that, it turns out to be unexpectedly difficult!)

Cheers,
Paul


Hi,
It was just me.
I bought fencing wire from Countrywide Stores & plastic deer fence from Boddingtons-ltd.com.
I bought 200m of both.
It was not a professional job - stringing a wire from tree to tree. I drilled a hole through the trunk to keep the wire at the right height on the smaller hazels. I pulled it tight by hand. The fence was just unrolled and cable tied to the wire.
I took the view it only had to last a few years. Now it's too much trouble to take down - about 4 / 5 years down the line. It's still pretty solid & intact.
It was all pretty straightforward. The total circumference is about 175 metres.
We needed a few fence posts. I built a gate, hung between 2 fence posts.
A hazel trunk, drilled at top & bottom acts as a useful spacer for the wire, without needing to be banged into the ground - if covering a large area, with no trees.
The photo shows the gate - decking & hazel, the black deer fence on the ground and the wire - off to the right by the Coppiced Beech tree.
I have since deer fenced some smaller areas and only used one wire at 5 foot - worked well. I cable tied the fence, at the base to each tree.
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