How to Build a Bird Net Teepee for Berries, Fruit

 How to Build a Bird Net Teepee for Berries, Fruit

Birds are a beautiful and essential part of a healthy garden, though they can sometimes cause problems with your berry harvest. To protect your valuable crops, try building a teepee-style frame for bird netting. Many locals lived in these structures for their resilience and durability, and we can apply these principles to the garden.

Three or more poles are connected together at the top to form the teepee bird netting, which can then be draped over your plants and into the bird net. They are simple, fast, portable, inexpensive, and can be quickly introduced after pollination and removed after harvest.

Why Teepee Bird Net?

Our shrubs are located around the garden to increase biodiversity and beautify the space, so building a large cage over them was impossible (not to mention smelly and expensive). Each bush had to have a cage over it that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Here are the advantages of teepee bird nets:

Flexibility: Teepee bird netting allows for great flexibility in your garden planning process. You can plant your shrubs and other endangered plants wherever you like and pitch a tent around each one. Instead of growing whole large plants with a large cage/netting. Better flexibility in the park. More aesthetics, more variety.

Biodiversity: Being able to grow perennials anywhere you want avoids monocultures and adds variety to your garden, creating a healthier growing space.

Cost-effective: Teepees can be made relatively inexpensive or even free, depending on what materials you have on hand. We built it from felled pine trees (those growing near them must be thinned), old portable electric wire, and elk fences that had been broken into small pieces. But you can use whatever you have around you. If you are going to buy something for your pantries, put most of your money into a good hard netting that is also safe for birds.

EASY TO MAKE: Tippies are so simple, smart and powerful. It's quick to make and quick to install.

Easy Teepees Take Down: Teepees are as easy to take down as it is easy to take them down. They are lightweight and easy to carry, and will last for years with proper care.

Appearance: Your garden will look very beautiful and unique surrounded by trees, and it can be fitted into any garden design. When made of organic materials, they add a rustic look that blends with a natural garden, or they can be made of plastic or metal to match an avant-garde design.
You will need it
3-6 electrodes.
rope (about 4 meters long enough for most strollers)
Wildlife friendly bird netting


You can use whatever you want for your tent poles. Make sure it is tall enough to stand over your plants (see below to determine your tent size), and that it is rigid enough not to bend while supporting the net.

You don't want the posts to be too heavy or difficult (and dangerous) to manage, but if they're too light, the tent will likely snap.

We made pine logs 3m (10ft) long and 5cm to 7cm (2-3in) thick at the bottom.

How Many Poles: You will probably need three to six poles to get the tent up. We used three for the original structure, but if you need more stability you can always add more after you build it. It is especially important to use more poles if the tent is large and could cause injury or damage to property if it falls. Additional poles will also keep them upright in case of high winds.


You will use rope to tie the poles together, support additional poles if needed, and tie the top of the net to the frame. Natural ropes, such as manila or hemp, often hold poles better than synthetic ropes, but man-made materials (such as nylon or polyester) will often work just fine. Make sure the rope has enough strength to prevent it from snapping, especially if the poles are heavy.

We used an old portable electric fence wire (poly wire), which worked great.

Bird Friendly Netting

Most bird nets available are not suitable for use in the garden or anywhere else. The holes are so large, birds will easily get entangled in the delicate fabric. Entangled birds will soon die or become too injured to recover.

Here are some tips for using bird-friendly netting on your tent:

Wildlife-friendly netting: This type of netting has small holes that are safe for birds. To be safe for birds, the net must pass the "finger test." As a general rule, if you can stick your finger through the mesh holes, don't use it.
Heavy-duty security fence: This is a strong plastic fence that is sometimes called snow fencing or elk fencing (although some weaker fences also go by this name). The holes are usually about 2 cm to 3 cm (1 inch) or slightly larger, but the birds will not get tangled because the plastic is so tough.
Poultry netting: Also called chicken wire, this type of fencing is readily available at lumberyards, farm supply stores, or garden centers. It is fairly easy to work with, and the flexible metal wire comes in various lengths and widths with different sized holes.
Insect nets: These are used to prevent insects from infesting crops, but also make an effective bird trap. This web will interfere with pollination, so you need to be careful about the timing when you place it.
Hail nets: This is a more specific type of netting but can also effectively deter birds.

Pole Length

The amount of the plants you need to cover will determine the length of the poles. In the currant bush example, the top of the tent must be at least 6 feet high, and the legs must be spread out so that the base of the tent is 10 feet to accommodate the branches. In this case, you'll need poles that are about 8 feet long. Make the poles a little taller than they need to be so there are some poles on top where they are tied for extra stability. If the poles need to be 8 feet to get the correct tent size, cut the poles to 10 feet and join them 2 feet from the ends.

Measure the rope

For most teepees, like the one with the currant bush in our example, you'll need about 4 m (13 ft). This will probably be more than you need, but having an extra rope is better than running out. When you tie the two poles together and put up the tent, you'll want enough rope to hang from the ground.

Net Metering

The netting should go around the entire tent, plus a little extra so that the sides overlap, and there are no gaps for birds to slip through. This means that the grid needs to extend the full distance around the base of all the electrodes. In the example above, the base of the tent is about 10 feet wide, so you'll need about 30 feet (10 meters) of netting.

Since the base of the tent is much larger than the top, a lot of extra nets will be required. This excess can be tied together and tied tightly on top. This keeps the net in good condition so it can be used elsewhere when it is not needed around the tent. If you want the grid to fit easily, cut it into a semicircle. The curved edges will wrap around the base, and the straight edges will be joined together where they meet the edge of the tent. In this case, the radius of the semicircle must be equal to the length of the poles (from the ground where they are joined), and the distance along the curved edge must be equal to the distance around the base.

5 steps to making a Teepee fly net

Once you've gathered the supplies, it's time to set up your teepee with these easy steps.

Tip: Here's a great video from National Geographic showing how to make a real tent.

Step 1: Fasten the poles.

Put three columns side by side. Tie them together with a scissors knot. When done, the columns will look like this:

Step 2: Set up the Teepee

Set up your tent by spreading three evenly spaced poles around your tree. Make sure that each leg is securely attached and that your leg feels solid. If the ground is uneven, you may need to move the pole around a bit.

If your tent is large, be safe and work with a partner.

Step 3: Add more Poles (if needed)

If you want to make your tent more stable, you can add more poles. Slant the two new poles between the other two poles on top of the tent.

Now knit the new columns. Take the excess rope left over from the original pole tie and wrap it around the top of the tent a few times, tying all the poles together.

Step 4: Install the Net

Wrap the netting around the frame and tie it securely at the bottom. Gather the rest of the net over the top and tie it securely to the frame (you can skip this part if you cut the net into a semicircle).

Opening from the top: It is very sad when birds get stuck in cages and panic trying to get out. Ours wasn't fully closed and the top was slightly open. Occasionally, the bird would slip up, but they were never stressed and always found a way out.

Step 5: Place the stain on the bottom of the grid.

To keep the bottom of the net on the ground, place some stakes to hold the net up.

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