Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association

Fencing at Low Expense

May 16, 2001

by SEYMOUR MILLS

For those needing a fence around your trees at minimal expense, I will share my solution.  I use 5′ high by 1″ poultry mesh on heavyweight 6′ steel posts spaced 12 feet apart.  You can get 150′ long rolls at many hardware stores.  Before I attach the fencing I cut and peel 11/2” – 2″ by 8′ straight, green aspen poles and use #12 or #14 black wire (purchased by weight in a large coil from a steel supplier) to tie these poles to the steel posts, top and bottom to create an 8′ high post.  I hang the chicken wire on the outside and attach it with light tie wire (or 4′ to 6′ long 3/4” by 11/4” wood rippings with nails or screws,) flush with the bottom of the fence.  Then cut and peel 2″ – 3″ by 13′ aspen poles and use the heavy wire to attach to the post along the top of the fencing.  Tie the fencing to this pole with the light wire.  Then cut and peel 11/4” by 8′ aspen poles for intermediate posts, which I slightly sharpen and stick in the ground and wire to the 13′ cross pole.  The sharpened bottom keeps it temporarily upright.  I bought a 600′ spool of yellow poly line and attached four runs of this above the 13 foot pole to create an 8 foot high fence that is both rabbit and moose proof.  I also wire a pole along the bottom of the fence and posts.  There are quicker fences, but they are more expensive.  If you have kids, the pole peeling is good to keep idle hands busy and to make it a family project.  The 13′ horizontal pole will sag over time without the intermediate posts, and so will the 1/4” poly line.  We had a young moose jump between the ropes once when they were too far apart.  The yellow line is easy for the moose to see so they do not just walk through it.