NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Tree guards for sheep  (Read 1948 times)


  • Joined Jan 2017
Tree guards for sheep
« on: June 10, 2018, 08:05:42 am »
Could I have some comments on how successful you think either of these would be at stopping my small sheep (Ouessants) eating the bark on our fruit trees....

Both of which would probably need staking, but they seem to also be suggesting the “mega mesh” can be wrapped around the trunk here, which might be easier and less intrusive/costly.....

Any thoughts? What height would I need? Am I delusional to think I can protect them at all?! Other option would be to give up on Ouessants and try Shropshire sheep, but I’m loathed to do that without “test driving” first!!
Voss Electric Fence

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Tree guards for sheep
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 11:33:08 pm »

How thick are the trees?  Our trees are young so still have the  plastic tubex on them.  The larger trees we use either the mesh with stakes or fencing wire (we had tons of the stuff).  Better to do a good job.  The idea of the full mesh and stakes is that it protects the branches and the fruit. Sheep will decimate a fruit free and climb up.  All trees need protection from livestock.

1.2m height min and 1.6 - 1.8m stakes as they need to go in pretty deep. Don't mess with short stakes. Quality worth it as they snap or degrade over a couple of years.

Its worth doing it well we have a lot of trees over 2,000.  All sheep will kill trees so breed not an issue.


  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Tree guards for sheep
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 08:45:12 am »
I wouldn't take the risk only takes a few seconds for one determined animal to do the damage.The only resilient solution is those wooden cages that the NT build....they have them at Berrington Hall Herefordshire....last a lifetime..expect they use volunteer labour to build them...look very good .They do take up a lot of pasture though.Will try and find a picture...


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Tree guards for sheep
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 12:28:21 pm »
Four fence posts about 2' from the tree, and stock fence around, is what English Heritage used on their ground that we farmed on Hadrian's Wall.  Effective, not too intrusive into the ground or the view.

You do get grass and weeds inside the enclosure though, so then the sheep stick their heads through the fencing to eat that.  ::). So if you make your own, make sure you tension the fencing well : tight stock fencing usually doesn't cause many issues; it's the stuff which flaps which causes the most damage to sheep and their ears tags.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
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Re: Tree guards for sheep
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 08:01:54 pm »
I use some of those and they will stop some sheep eating the trees BUT they don't stop sheep rubbing on them (a stake won't hold them enough) and then damaging the trees nor will they stop determined sheep even putting a hoof on them and clambering up
The only real solution (as Sally has said) is 4 fence posts 2 to 3 ft from the tree with wire around.


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