From June of 2016, an article that’s always timely.
It’s that time of year when you’re putting up fence, taking it down and wondering if there’s a better way. We thought we’d help out with some suggestions. Then, add your own ideas in the comments. Your fellow farmers and ranchers can use all the fencing help they can get! 🙂
Electric Fencing With Trees
This question appeared on the Vermont Pasture Network and we thought On Pasture readers could benefit:
Does anybody know if it’s better to attach insulators (tacked onto wood) onto trees for fence posts with galvanized or non-galvanized nails? I remember a fencing talk in which somebody suggested that one will grow out with the tree and the other will hold in its place more firmly as the tree grows around it (the prior being more desirable) but I don’t remember which is which.
Here’s Bruce Howlett’s answer:
Never attach insulators directly to trees, unless you like adding ever more insulators, nails and wires as the trees grow – and replacing chain saw chains when you maintain your fence rows. Nail the insulators on 4′ pieces of 2×4, or comparable, and fasten the boards to the trees. You can tie a board to a tree in any number of ways depending on your favored method of maintaining the fence each spring. Annual maintenance will be needed as the trees grow. Nails work, and I don’t think there is a large difference between galvanized and plain. You can use construction screws, and then just back the screws out a little each spring. You can even use baling twine and just replace it every year.
Jim Gerrish on Creating End Corners
One of my favorite accessories for our portable electric fence work is the PowerFlex PowerPost for creating ends or corners with your temporary fences out in the middle of nowhere. I can run reels four different directions from this reel standard.
My most common use is when I need to run a temporary alleyway from one field to another. I can generally set up & take down a thousand feet of lane fence in less time than it takes a cowboy to catch and saddle his horse.
You can find this item here. No, they aren’t cheap but they sure are handy! Photos taken this very morning.
From Kelly Troester
Kelly is a Nebraska rancher who, after putting up lots of temporary electric fencing, decided that he could build a better post. His no-step, portable fence posts push into the ground so easily a step is made obsolete, yet they’re strong enough to pound into frozen ground if you have to. Since they don’t have a step, they don’t get tangled up. Kelly created a “quiver” to carry them so he can set posts and put up line in one trip. As he shows in the video below. Look how far he gets in just 52 seconds!
You can find out more about Kelly’s posts and order them at his website here.
Add solutions that you’ve got! And check below for the comments folks sent in when we first ran this article.
Just thought I would let you know of a great new electric fence bracket for screwing into trees that we have come across – easy to put in, no damage to trees, re-usable, fantastic! Australian company you can find here… http://www.treebracket.com
The tree bracket is pretty neat idea. I like it. I have done a similar way by using a 12″ eye screw and then tying an end insulator to the eye screw. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve been using Kelly’s no-step posts this year, and was at first skeptical that they would be any better than the plastic step-ins. I’ve been very happy with them, as they may bend, but haven’t had any break, unlike their plastic counter-parts. And, in hard ground, you can get them to drive in. The other bonus is how many you can carry. They are much less cumbersome than any other post I’ve used.
Another option I have used to connect electric fence to trees is to use a piece of pressure treated lumber (2×6 6-10″ long). Screw a pinlock insulator to the board. Drill a 1/4″ hole in the top of the board. Use a long gutter spike or pole barn nail through that hole. Only drive the nail an inch or so into the tree. This allows the board to slide along the spike as the tree grows. Down side is, you will end up with one spike in the tree, but it is better than wrapping the tree.
We have sheep and I have totally signed off electronet because I have found it just can’t hold up to all the taking down and putting up it gets around here. We also found that with sheep, we need at least three strands of hot wire, four is better. This makes put up and take down slightly tedious, until we found the Gallagher Smart Fence! Four reels together with the posts make set up and take down super easy ??below is the YouTube video of the set up
thanks! oh my gosh, great suggestion, the 4 wire is what we do too for our smart sheep and it takes a long time. thanks for the tip-
Here’s a blog post I did about tape gates I made, not for temporary fences, but still a good thing to incorporate into perimeter fence. Credit for the idea of tape gates goes to Greg Judy who put the thought in my head.
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