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06/06/2012 at 22:35

Can anyone help??

This only started this year but I am having major problems with Wood Pigeon's.  They are eating the leaves off of my ornamental red leafed plum tree.  This started this spring when the blossom appeared.  They started to eat this and then when the new leaf shoots started they began to eat that aswell and are still eating the leaves now.  They are stripping my poor tree of it's leaves and I fear that if I don't stop them they will kill the tree.

The tree is approx 15 years old and they never did this till this year.  They used to sit on a neighbouring crab apple tree but since the neighbour went mad with his over enthusiastic pruning they have moved on to my tree and are decimating it.  I've never seen pigeon's doing this till now - why do they do this!!!!!

Any ideas or help on how I can stop them from doing this would be greatly appreciated please.  I'm desperate to stop them from killing my beautiful tree.  Thank you.


06/06/2012 at 22:54

The only thing that I can think of is to net it, but you will need to be careful to do it safely so that other creatures can't be caught in it. You could also use fleece if you prefer.

06/06/2012 at 23:08

I'm afraid that's not an option - it's a 15 year old tree!!!!!  Can't net or fleece a tree that's at least 15 feet talk.  Wish it was as easy as that.  Horrible flying rats!!!!

06/06/2012 at 23:24

Can you try chasing them off, then? For example, turning a hose on them? That done a few times should help to discourage them.

07/06/2012 at 08:20

Grow a sacrificial malus? Get a gun and some pastry? Motion sensor attached to a sprinkler system? Or you could try hanging some cds/dvds in there to put them off...Celine Dion may have found her purpose in life after all.... They could well go back next door once your neighbours tree recovers so the cds could be a short-term thing.  Pesky varmints.

07/06/2012 at 09:26

Pigeons strip my 20 'cherry tree every year, first of most of the leaves, then of all the unripe cherries. I tried partial netting to try to get at least a taste, but the birds go to unbelievable lengths and trouble to get every last cherry through the net. Perhaps some unpleasant ultrasonic device is available to keep them away?Thank God I don't run a fruit&veg stall!

07/06/2012 at 09:43

I have given up on fruit trees due to wood pigeons.    I haven't seen them taking the blossom or leaves, but they strip the fruit off before it is even ripe!

07/06/2012 at 19:56

I'll try the CD's though don't hold out much hope.  I'll research abit on the internet to see if I can come up with anthing else.  Keep leaving me any ideas please - thanks

07/06/2012 at 20:46

I've got some cheap little jingly bell xmas deckies that i bet would put them off - they sound off at the slightest movement. Quite a pretty sound by human standards but might well scare a pigeon... Bet you'd get em on a certain online auction site or south american book seller. Or maybe one of those horribly loud wind chimes the garden centre "granny tatt" sections sell (sorry grannies - but thats what my charming OH calls it). Thats it for ideas from me. Good luck. x

07/06/2012 at 22:23

How about trying a plastic bird of prey decoy?  A quick google shows Falcon and Owl models at reasonable prices (just search "pigeon scarer") with the suggestion that you put it high up and move it about every few days (although that might be easir to say than do!)

26/05/2013 at 11:21

Wood Pigeons had been eating the new leaves of my Plum trees - at first I thought it was caterpillars until I noticed young branches bent/broken (from the weight of the birds).

Solution was simple - tie on a few plastic carrier bags - that stops them !

26/05/2013 at 13:25

How about playing the Celine Dion cds....

Granny tat- that's the polite term! The sparkly fluttery things are possibly the best bet- not quite so unattractive as the poly bags. Pigeons are a b****y nuisance. Doesn't help when people put bread etc. out - it just attracts the undesirable birdy element. We even had this in a rural area as the only neighbour just chucked out all their stale bread and colonies of crows and seagulls appeared.  

Would it be worth feeding them bird food in a different and far away part of the garden? Trouble is they'd probably come back for 'dessert' at the tree... 

I expect with the way the weather has been this year food has been in short supply too so maybe it will not be an ongoing problem.

28/05/2013 at 23:08

we do put bird food out on a feeder and the pigeons eat that too.  Can't put it in a far away part of the garden because we only have a small garden anyway.  Haven't tried the plastic bags - only problem with that is that it is a bit unsightly.  Pigeons seem to have left the tree alone this year so haven't had to do anything to stop them this year so far.

15/06/2013 at 21:04

I have only just found this trail. Started a 0.25 acre garden in a new build house in Feb after leaving 8 acres with over 100 fruit trees that we had planted. Noticed that my newly-planted victoria plum and Stella cherry had many eaten leaves with no visible insects, but then found many of the new side shoots broken off, so I assume this is pigeons (lots around). Never noticed this in previous orchard, but perhaps there was plenty of other food. Pigeons always used to eat the growing points of newly planted runner beans in the previous house but I have found that a low wall of pallet plastic wrapping film has kept them off here, so I am going to try draping some of this in the plum and cherry tree. Wish me luck!

15/06/2013 at 21:59

The bird of prey birdscarers are worth trying - although we don't need them here - a pair of peregrine falcons have reared a brood of four this year, and they keep taking woodpigeons from our roof and fences, there are hardly any left 

15/06/2013 at 22:52

If theyve had four babies, I could do with adopting a pair of falcons.

Failing that I find fast lead works.

16/06/2013 at 10:44

Having the same thing here with a 25' ash tree. Feeding them will only encourage them. Personal recommendations:

... or ...

... in .177 with ...

... and ...

... or ...

... and plenty of practice. Ambidextrous design is an advantage if you don't know whether you're a right- or left-handed shooter or if you may find yourself havign to shoot around the "wrong" side of a barn to get a particular rabbit. The pre-charged are probably better in that you don't have to move much to prepare a second shot, but they do require you to purchase, store and occasionally pay for refills and servicing of an air bottle. The underlever is a bit simpler. Look for something that shoots at 11.5 or 11.9 foot-pounds, 12 being the legal energy limit on an unlicensed air rifle (after that (16.27J and up) it's a class 1 firearm, the same as the 5.56x45mm L98A1 (1.77kJ), with the same legal requirements). As the limit is on energy, the lighter .177 pellets have 41% more muzzle energy than the heavier .22, so you'll get a flatter trajectory and more reach with the .177. I'd suggest zeroing it at 25m and learning the aim offsets for 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m and 35m.

Bear in mind that these things will punch holes through fence rails at short range and through rabbits at 50m, so you do need to be careful with them. Rules can be found here:

Also, as a molecular biologist, I advise you to dispose of dead pigeons the way you would dispose of dog dirt, only using a larger bag.

16/06/2013 at 14:03
16/06/2013 at 15:04

The foxes that live in the wood next door are rather fond of dead wood pigeons.

31/07/2013 at 21:59

My 80 year old mother has managed to cover her 15 foot lilac tree with several sheets tied on with rope and string.  It looks crazy but keeps the birds off the tree.

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