Instructables

This is the second year we have had our fig trees, they have deepened their roots and have started producing wonderful figs. The first weeks harvest was more than what we pulled all last summer. These juicy morsels have also attracted a few unwelcome scavengers. My goal is to protect the fig trees with something more than a net draped over the tree. Birds can still land on a draped net and pick at what is inside. I want to create a temporary haven so the figs could fully ripen on the tree without predation.

 
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Step 1: Plans and Tools

In this build I will use one half inch PVC pipe and bird netting, both available at your favorite home improvement store. I wanted to cover two trees with netting, one was nice and compact, the other is in a wide V shape. For the V shaped tree I made two smaller frames to make it easier to move while mowing.

I did not glue these frames together, my plan is to have the option to quickly take apart the frame in the event of a hurricane.

These frames will not be cubes so I can save on materials and because they look cool.

Each frame needs a four sided base, a spine for the top and 3-way 90 degree corners to attach it all together.

A single frame needs six 3-way 90 degree corners. The store I shopped at did not have them so I needed to use a coupler to make it work.

All parts totaled I used 180 feet of PVC pipe, 18 3-way 90 degree fittings with side outlet with male adapter.

Do not be discouraged by the total length of PVC, I have several four foot lengths left over because the most common length I needed was six feet and the PVC was available in only ten foot lengths.

In addition to the PVC and netting I used a channellock wrench, hacksaw, saw horses, measuring tape, marker and a blade. I also used cord to tie the net down, I used mason line.

DL813 months ago
very nice design! I made one very similar. it can be scaled up or down in size according to need. if you go much larger I'd recommend using larger diameter PVC for extra support as the top bar will start to sag and the structure will become more rickety
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ravenking4 months ago

great design!

Divergent Reality (author)  ravenking4 months ago

Thank you!

wilgubeast4 months ago

Skewers are so useful. Somebody else used 'em as tiny dowels for joinery. This is genius in its simplicity and execution. Nice work!

Divergent Reality (author)  wilgubeast4 months ago

Skewers are my go to wooden multi-tool. They are so useful for small projects. I hear you can also cook with them!

lchalifoux4 months ago
Nice design...the gothic arch shape is very elegant! Also, thats for the tip about using skewers to fasten the layers of netting. I can think of similar common items that might work: chopsticks, hair clips, binder clips, clothes pins, pipe cleaners, etc. From experience, I recommend painting anything you use a really bright neon color like pink, because you'll take them out, put them on the ground, and spend half the day looking for then after. :) For things like binder clips, just tie some of that neon cord they sell at the hardware store for mason's levels.

We live up in MA in zone 5, so there are only a couple of varieties that are close to hardy enough, and you still have to completely and thoroughly insulate them for the winter. Your design is inspiring...I bet I could attach some sort of flexible insulation around the sides, leaving a space at the top. I think filling salt marsh hay around the fig would work, then I'd make a "roof" by folding something like a strip of galvanized metal to keep out rain and snow. Probably need to put straw bails around the bottom also, to protect the roots.

A lot of work for one little fig tree, but when you garden, that's sort of what happens...

Thanks again for the great Instructable!
Divergent Reality (author)  lchalifoux4 months ago

I am down here in Houston so cold weather is not the norm. I plan on using this design for any cold snaps we may have next winter. Erect the frame and add a series of tarps with some incandescent Christmas lights to keep things warm enough.

Fikjast Scott4 months ago

great job, I like the fact that you did a sketch up.

Divergent Reality (author)  Fikjast Scott4 months ago

Thank you. It is important to have some form of plan. Otherwise I would end up buying either far too much, or too little PVC.