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 damage to fruit trees 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:59 am
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Post damage to fruit trees
My love of animals and gardening causes me various problems. We have three donkeys two pet pigs and two miniature ponies along with various dogs and cats.
With all these animals I do sujffer damage to parts of the garden. My specific current problem is with the donkeys, they eat and destroy anything. They have eaten through their hedge so we have fenced it now with stock fencing - they don't seem to eat the wooden posts.
They have eaten half the outside wall of their stable along with munching the door and the support to the overhang which gives them shade from the sun and somewhere dry from the wet. They don't like being inside but their stable is open for them for shelter if they want to use it and they do, they munch at it all the time. They have eaten their gate and their feed bowls, we have given them salt licks and feed them a little hard feed a couple of handfuls each, and hay each day. I cannot put them in our orchard because they eat the trees but I would like them to keep the grass down there it is difficult to mow.
Has anyone any ideas on how to stop the donkeys destroying them? The horses in the fields near us have a type of mouth cage to stop them having too much rich grass in the summer does any know if that would prevent them from eating the bark off trees so at least I could let them in the orchard in the winter? or indeed have any other ideas. Thanks, Angela


Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:49 am
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Angela
First I know littleto nothing about donkeys but.......I would assume that something is lacking in thier diet. A sheep owner had a problem with the sheep eating the bark off his trees until he provided kelp feed for them.

Ted


Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:40 pm
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Location: Essex, England Zone 8
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I'm sure Ted's right, but if he's not the only thing you can do is provide physical protection in the form of treeguards.


Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:54 am
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Thanks for the kelp suggestion I hadn't thought of that one and will enquire at our feed store. The trouble with tree guards is that the donkeys get up on their hind legs and will eat anything that is at all accessible. They certainly have a sense of humour and are brighter than they look if it starts to rain and the washing is on the line they rush up to it and pull all the pegs off the line to help get the washing in!
I've just been to stay with my mother and got a red Falstaff apple from a nursery near her. It's supposed to keep well, that's if the four footed friends leave it alone. It's on an M26 rootstock and is best with a pollinator. I don't know when it blossoms but I think I should have one as I have a crab apple tree and several different varieties of apples. Would I be right in thinking that the apples that store well are later blossoming than the early ripeners?


Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:36 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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Angela, you asked: "Would I be right in thinking that the apples that store well are later blossoming than the early ripeners?" That's a good question. My Gravenstein’s, Transparent, and Summer Red bloom first, and in turn are the first to ripen. I've always assumed my Wolf River apple (somewhat shaded in a lower part of the yard) bloomed last because of its cooler location, but they’re October apples over here. I'd just plant your Falstaff and watch its bloom time in comparison to the crab and other apples. If it’s not setting well, then look into a specific pollinator.

I'd not heard of a Falstaff... another "English apple" I see. Here's a wonderful description: http://www.orangepippin.com/apples/falstaff.htm From: http://www.orangepippin.com/default.aspx Here again... these would likely be excellent apples (if we could find them over here) for our coastal Orchardists.

The photo reminded me of a Cox Orange Pippin... then I find that may be one of its grandparents, if not - the good ol' Ribston Pippin! And there's 'my' Golden Delicious again... Seems everyone's breading a Golden with something! And I'd never heard of a "Jame Grieve" before ... though again, they’re midseason apples over here. But we need something to nibble on until the Braeburns, Granny Smiths, Romes, and Winesaps come on!

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Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:23 pm
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Location: Essex, England Zone 8
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James Grieve's a good apple, not brilliant but does well, even in Scotland


Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:18 am
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Angela
'Falstaff' blooms in what I call the B bloom period. I have been putting to gether a list of bloom period for apple (over 3,000 varities so far).It is availabe as an ebook on this web site. Bloom time and ripening time are not related. One of my favorites that blooms in the B period is 'Hudson's Golden Gem' a russeted,disease resistant apple. It does crack when the tree is young. Tastes great!
Ted


Wed May 02, 2007 8:31 pm
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Location: Portland, OR
Post E-book on apple bloom times
Ted,
Can you tell us how to access the ebook on apple bloom times? I would love to see it.
John S
PDX OR


Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:47 pm
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Post Re: damage to fruit trees
It's available here for $10.00:

http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/ebooks/

Let me know if you have any questions on the eBooks.

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Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:10 pm
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Post Re: damage to fruit trees
Having pets is always complex, regardless the type of pet. When we have exotic pets things can get even more complex. The first thing we should do is try to calm down and learn as much as possible about our animals. Then we can understand how they act and why. After that we can put into practice some strategies so they don’t become a problem for us. I used to have a farm and I had some beautiful plants and many pets. These pets always liked to destroyed and eat the plants, so I researched about ways to avoid that. First I thought the solution was to put fences, but my pets always found a way to overcome them. After my research I learnt the way to stop that situation was giving our animals the spaces and foods they want. So I gave them a good place to stay and the food they liked the most and the problem ended.

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Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:19 pm
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Post Re: damage to fruit trees
Horses (equines) chew wood because they chew wood. It has nothing to do with their diet.

They start because they are bored, or they see another horse do it, or they need their teeth floated. Once they start, there is no way to stop them.

They eat trees because trees are food.

You can get mesh muzzles for them. If they press the muzzle down, the grass will go though the mesh, so they can eat grass. If they are in danger of foundering because of too much grass, you can get grazing muzzles that only allow a very tiny blade or two of grass.

Your donkeys will damage trees by rubbing and scratching on them. Chewing is not the only damage they do.

When I had horses, we stopped the wood chewing by painting everything with creosote. I suspect that it is no longer possible to obtain creosote, so I don't know what you'd use now. A little line of tube wormer will stop them, but it is very expensive and only lasts a few days, so it isn't a long term solution.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:41 am
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Post Re: damage to fruit trees
Ted - thank you for sharing the bloom period information


Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:41 am
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Post Re: damage to fruit trees
stacyjones wrote:
Angela,

I don't know of any deterrents which might work for donkeys. I think your only solution may be creating a barrier to keep them away from the fruit trees.


I couldn't agree more, try building a fence. And, if you don't mind, try building a smaller (but not too small) fence, so it doesn't hurt the tree, later when the branches spread. Btw. sorry for my bad english, I'm from Germany. My grandma lived near Las Vegas so she thought me a bit of english, but not too much.


Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:06 am
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Post Re: damage to fruit trees
I'm looking out my window at the local orchards as I read this thread.
I'm reminded of the Bill Cosby routine about hoof and mouth disease - wipe the foam off your mouth.
The orchard owners around here don't allow horse, donkeys, or pigs into their orchards.
Just because they're your pets doesn't mean they'll socialize the way you want them to.
Fences make great neighbors.


Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:42 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:25 am
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Post Re: damage to fruit trees
I had a similar problem with our two goats. The only solution I could come up with was to use a large dogs muzzle on them. Obviously there has to be times when they are not muzzled and these are the times they get no where near our trees. But If I am in the orchard and they are pottering about with me I tend to slip on the muzzles. For all those animal rights folk out there... This is temporary and ONLY for an hour or two at the most. They are not permanently like this. Hope this helps.


Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:32 am
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