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Is it Time to Net Your Orchard?

If you own an orchard, you know that you and the animals and birds with whom you share the space have a very different understanding of the value of your fruit. To them, it is merely good food to satisfy their hunger whenever they desire, but for you, it is valuable stock. Good netting is the best way to keep your fruit free from If you are struggling with stock loss due to animals and birds raiding your orchards, it is probably time to start netting your trees. TWK Agri explains.


What Is Orchard Netting?

Netting is simply a mesh that you drape over your trees. It prevents birds and other animals from getting to your fruit, while still allowing the free flow of sunlight, air and moisture to and from the trees. Many different materials have been used to make netting over the years, but the most common material nowadays is UV-protected polypropylene. You can also find different types of netting based on the types of trees you are cultivating.


Read our blog for more information on South Africa’s timber industry.


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Why Netting Your Orchard Is a Good Idea

Netting your orchards is, first and foremost, an ideal way to keep birds, insects and other animals off your precious fruit. There are two other reasons you may want to consider tree netting, however. It can also help to keep the fruit clean. Apples, for example, are highly susceptible to staining. If you keep them netted, they maintain their clean and fresh appearance for much longer, which of course, is ideal for when the time comes to send them to market. Netting also helps to facilitate harvesting. The netting keeps the fruit on the branches, so that it does not fall off before harvest time.


It is important to note that you must cover your trees at the right time. You should not keep them covered throughout the season as this will interfere with the pollination process. You need to allow pollination, allowing birds and insects to pass freely among the trees. Then, immediately after, you should cover the trees – just as the fruit is starting to develop and is still green. Keep the netting on until harvest time.


Learn More About Timber Industry at TWK Agri

Learn more about agriculture, horticulture and timber as well as other products and sub sectors in South Africa, at TWK Agri. Contact us for more information.


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