L and I have been going around and around trying to figure out a fencing plan. Tired of losing trees and the prospect of putting more in is beginning to weigh on us. So I’m reaching out to my virtual neighbors for some perspective.
This would be our most expensive option. 10ft fence running through forest and over a creek seems like a daunting task to install and maintain. It might keep the deer out but elk scoff at fences. Trees regularly fall and maintenance and perimeter checks factor into the deal. A 24 acre perimeter means a lotta lotta fence.
Paddock or group fencing
We have rows of trees planted on contour but in many different areas of the farm. We could put up fencing row by row or group two or three rows at a time. A little more manageable, but larger groups need height to be a deterrent, smaller groups can be lower as it provides a very small landing strip for jumpers. Electrifying these might provide training to our year round nibblers.
The additional downside is that if we do areas larger than the rows themselves (and we do intend to alley graze between rows) we are stuck with massive deer fences to deter leaping over the fence. This could look pretty ugly and “the eyes gotta eat too”.
Manageable but labor intensive. Lots of fence required if we consider 6-8 ft diameter and more t-posts too. This makes it much harder to pick fruit and prune. Currently we have about 60 fruit and nut trees. 180 T-posts and about 400 ft of fencing material to start and we have plans for many more trees.
We are asking for your help.
So what do you do? What actually works and what are the downsides? Give us the value of your actual experience with this problem. How much maintenance do you do on fencing, does it seem worth it? Keep in mind we aren’t on this property full time and even a dog or two might not do the trick as we have cougar, coyotes, and bear that would love to snack on them.
Thanks for any help you can offer.