Electrical Fence

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-25-14, 07:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6
Electrical Fence

In my search for an effective way to protect my fruit trees from animal predators and birds, I looked at the electric fence option. But these require that the tree be insulated from the hot wires, otherwise it will be grounded and become useless. In my case, there's no way to totally insulate the tree and prevent that from happening. But I'm persisting and hoping to find a way to have a tree "defend itself" by either pulsating or steady, AC or DC current, and have it produce electrical shock at the touch - without shorting out. A twist or a trick, or through the employing of an elaborate scheme, anything that can make that possible.

The idea is to be able to electrify a mesh wire that's wrapped around the tree, and be able to keep the mesh wire "hot" despite it being touched by all the branches.

We have to remember, these are small fruit trees and everything is in a very tight space and there's no room or possibility for insulation.

Is that possible?

This is a question for someone with deep understanding of electrical circuitry to answer and come up with a possible creative solution. I'm still hoping for one!

Your comments and insight would be greatly appreciated!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-25-14, 07:40 AM
Rough Rooster's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 381
I once did what you are suggesting.
I used "pig panels" to surround tree placing them on glass jars for insulators and connecting my fence charger to the panels.
Worked to discourage raccoons and lesser on squirrels. Not at all effective for birds.
Learned to just live trap 'coons and 'possums all year and dispose of them. Shot the squirrels. Got to the point the buzzards loved me and my 'feed wagon'.

RR
 
  #3  
Old 07-25-14, 07:51 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,096
The trouble is in order to give an animal a shock you need high voltage. At high enough voltage the foliage is conductive and the current kills at least that part of the plant. Pulsing (which is what many electric fence chargers do) or steady current does not matter. They both eventually kill the part of the plant that touches the wire.

I use electric fences in areas where there is room. For my fruit trees and blueberry bushes I build cages with mesh big enough to allow pollinators through but small enough to keep birds and other animals out.
 
  #4  
Old 07-25-14, 08:16 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6
Killing the part of the plant that touches the wire would not be so bad, if we can save the fruits. It will be an acceptable trade-off in this case, since currently we don't get to enjoy any of the fruits. Trees get pruned at the end of the season anyway, to prepare for the following season.

The question is: Can it be technically done?!
 
  #5  
Old 07-25-14, 09:58 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,096
Can what be technically done?
 
  #6  
Old 07-25-14, 10:45 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6

Back to my original question:


"The idea is to be able to electrify a mesh wire that's wrapped around the tree, and be able to keep the mesh wire "hot" despite it being touched by all the branches."
 
  #7  
Old 07-25-14, 10:52 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,213
The electric fence/grid is hot, the earth is the ground. If the fence is connected to the tree [which is grounded] and the tree isn't insulated from the hot - then the fence will short out.
 
  #8  
Old 07-25-14, 11:18 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6
If you have bothered to read my original post you wouldn't have had to explain that again, because everybody knows that, and I mentioned it in the beginning. It's simply how electricity normally works!

This is a question for someone with deep understanding of electrical circuitry to answer and come up with a possible creative solution. A twist or a trick, or through the employing of an elaborate scheme, anything that can make that possible.

I'm still hoping for one!
 
  #9  
Old 07-25-14, 12:26 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,096
There is not an easy way that I know of. If the electric fence or net touches the tree it will bleed of power from the fence. If enough contact is made it will draw off enough current that it can no longer shock the animals. Also wherever it touches the tree that part of the plant will die.

The problem with electricity is made worse with the very high voltages of an electric fence. Items that normally would not conduct electricity become conductive. A leaf or branch isn't going to do much if you touch a 9v or 12v battery to it but the 10'000 volts of a electric fence is going to go into the plant and find it's way to ground.
 
  #10  
Old 07-25-14, 01:56 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Not only is there not an easy way, there is NO way to circumvent the passage of electrical current to ground. It will find the least resistive way and it will most likely be your tree, which will die from it. Many years as a cattle farmer using high voltage fencing on impulse. The fence will kill almost any vegetation it touches, OR the sending unit will fail.
 
  #11  
Old 07-25-14, 02:44 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6
By the way, we're talking about a light duty electric fence charger that has an output of 800 volts. While this minimizes the amount of damage to the tree, it definitely does not contribute to a solution.

The search is for an ingenious device that will reverse the flow of current and restore it back to the wire mesh. Where's Tesla when we need him!
 
  #12  
Old 07-25-14, 03:02 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,269
Fruit Trees

Forget an electrical solution. Build a cage around the tree using 1/2 in mesh hardware cloth.
 
  #13  
Old 07-25-14, 03:05 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Why are you determined to reinvent the wheel? Insulate the wiring and let it run. Gee, the solution is simple, and the laws of electricity will absolutely not change.
 
  #14  
Old 07-26-14, 05:55 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,269
Birds and Animals

Animals can be stopped easily. Birds are more difficult to stop with electricity.
 
  #15  
Old 07-26-14, 08:26 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,096
I have permanent wood framed cages around half my blueberry bushes. The side and top panels are made from electrical gray PVC tubing and are easily removed for harvesting.

For the fruit trees I built removable cages from gray PVC tubing. The panels are glued together and the netting attached with black zip ties. The cross pieces are just pushed into place and the netting attached at the seam points with natural/white zip ties. Then after the fruiting season I cut the white zip ties and pop the frame apart and put it in storage for next season. The frames could be left up year round but they are not very attractive and having them up only for the month or two when needed minimizes wear and sunlight damage on them.
 
  #16  
Old 07-26-14, 09:15 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6
This is probably the ideal solution for protecting fruit trees in general. But in my case, it is not possible to implement, hence the reason for looking for alternative ways like the electrical option. I have very tight space where several fig trees are crammed in a row against a wood fence that separates us from the neighbors. All this is located in a very narrow strip of a side yard ( 10 ft. wide). That makes it extremely hard to reach and surround the trees with cages or netting.

Squirrels, birds and even small lizards are all having a heyday, everyday! Squirrels come from every direction. from the top of the fence, from the ground, and anything in between. The setup the you described will work fine if the cages are tightly built and the netting does not allow even the smallest lizard to slip in. Unfortunately, this is not possible here.
 
  #17  
Old 07-26-14, 01:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,269
Lizards

Lizards have been added to the list of pests. I would change my recommendation from 1/2 in. mesh hardware cloth to either 1/4 in. mesh hardware cloth or screen wire.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'