Birds nesting in your trees can create a myriad of nuisances from loud morning wake up calls to poop on your car paint. Luckily, there are ways to keep the birds out of your trees. For tall mature trees, plan to rent a crane to implement your strategy. If you want to keep the birds away, here's what you need to do:
1. Start early
Many birds are protected under federal law, meaning that once they set up their nests, you cannot remove them. Therefore, if you want to keep birds from nesting in your trees, you need to start early.
Plan to rent a crane in the early spring or late fall. That way, you can set up your deterrents either before the birds start nesting or just after the little ones depart the nests. Once the existing nests in your trees are empty, you can remove them and begin work.
2. Prune the tree
Large migratory birds and squirrels love to put their nests deep in the branches of mature trees. There, they get the shade and privacy they need. The first step in disrupting this area so it doesn't appeal to them is getting rid of some of the branches.
You can hire an arborist to cut your tree, or if you are familiar with healthy pruning practices, you can rent a crane and tackle the job yourself. To promote healthy development of the tree, remove dead branches, cut branches that are overlapping or growing into each other and get rid of branch stubs. Essentially, you want to make the tree look balanced but not dense.
3. Cover the tree with a net
Small song birds don't necessarily hide their nests deep in the boughs of the tree, and therefore, pruning is not always enough to detract these birds. Instead, try covering your tree branches with a net or a mesh material.
You can buy bird-free netting designed to go over trees, or you can appropriate garden netting or mesh for the job. Although effective, many people don't like the look of netting, and they have to explore other options.
4. Put fake predators in the tree
Alternatively, fake predators are often an effective way to deter birds from nesting in your trees. You can hang fake snakes from your tree branches – just the plastic kinds used as kids' toys are fine. For a more realistic scare, try using a fake owl.
You can buy fake plastic owls for this purpose online or at most garden supply stores. However, with fake owls, you have to be a little careful. Unfortunately, if they never move, the birds may eventually realize they are not a threat, and they will nest in your tree anyway.
To prevent this from happening, when you are in the crane hanging your fake owl, make sure you tie a rope to it. Swing the rope over one of the uppermost branches, but allow most of it to hang toward the ground. Now, you can pull on the rope periodically to move the owl – that helps to make him look more real and thus more scary.
5. Glitter bomb your tree
If you don't want fake plastic animals on your tree, you can opt for a more festive and decorative bird deterrent idea. Simply, glitter bomb your tree.
So that you don't cover your yard and your rental crane with handfuls of craft glitter, there are special glitter tapes made for deterring birds. While in your crane, you simply wind these ribbons around your tree branches, and as the glitter is stuck to the tape, it doesn't fly around and make a mess.
When the light bounces off of the glitter, it annoys and confuses the birds so that they go somewhere else. In lieu of glitter tape, you can hang old CDs or other shiny things from your tree branches.
21 July 2015
After one of your buddies mentioned that land grading is "easy" with the help of a backhoe, you might have been more than willing to run to your local tool rental shop and rent one for the afternoon. After all, how hard could they be to use? Unfortunately, heavy machinery rentals can be tricky to operate, which is why going through a little training beforehand is so important. I have been working on my yard for years, and I have learned a thing or two about heavy machinery. Check out my blog to discover how to stay safe when you work with heavy machinery.