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Tree Caps Work Like Umbrellas To Protect Fruit
Tree Caps keep birds, bugs and even bad weather away from fruit trees and bushes. Unlike most netting, which lays on the plant, the umbrella-like design of Tree Caps supports netting and other materials above and around the plant, not on it.
“The Tree Cap itself is a simple piece of hard plastic that fits over a length of pvc or metal pipe,” explains Samir Masri, Fruit Shield. “It has slots for inserting four, 4-mm wire struts that hold up the material. It can also be used in multiples on pipes with a wire running between them to support netting over a group or row of trees or plants. We use a UV stabilized polyethylene mesh fine enough to keep out most insect pests.”
Creating plant and row covers is a recent venture for Masri, who built a career in the fashion and textile industry. His first venture into agriculture came when he developed mesh bags to fit over date trees to catch fruit that falls off and keep pests away. The bags fit over the top with drawstrings to close the bag tight to the trunk.
When Florida citrus growers wanted to use the bags to protect young trees from the Asian citrus psyllid, Masri realized the bags were stressing the young trees. So he designed 25 by 25-in. and 36 by 36-in. square top bags with the Tree Caps to support them. The smaller bag is 60 in. long, and the larger bag is 72 in. long.
Masri is preparing to introduce pre-packs of Tree Caps, plastic coated struts, pipes and bags. Both pre-packs will include the Tree Cap with struts sized to the square top bag.
He has also developed a mini screen house using multiple tree caps and wires to support netting walls and ceiling. The 3 by 5-ft. by 6-ft. high screen house package will cost $20 and include 4 Tree Caps, wires and eight, 3-ft. long pvc pipes.
While most of Masri’s products fit over the top of plants, his Fruit Catchers go underneath. Available in 8, 20 and 32-ft. square shapes, they tie to the trunk and overhead branches and start at $15.99 for the 8 by 8-ft. square.
“The Fruit Catchers gently catch and protect fruit that falls,” says Masri. “They also catch leaves as they fall, making clean-up a once-a-season job.”
He notes that the netting can be power sprayed for cleaning and is unaffected by wet or dry conditions. It has a life expectancy of 5 to 7 years, depending on length of use and proper storage. Netting by the roll is priced at 15˘ per sq. ft. or cut to order for 18˘ per sq. ft.
Bags start at $1.75 for the 12 by 24-in. size used to protect clumps of almonds or raisin grapes to $8.00 for the square top, 36 by 36-in. bags used with the Tree Caps. According to Masri, a recent redesign of the Tree Caps has resulted in a change in pricing. The new price will be available in the near future.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fruit Shield, 5981 S. Maywood Ave., Huntington Park, Calif. 90255 (ph 213 488-9999; info@fruitshield.com; www.fruitshield.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2