how to keep birds out of trees

How to Keep Birds Out of Trees? Our definitive guide

It’s no secret that trees provide shelter and home to a lot of animals, primarily birds. While birds are typically docile creatures who never inflict harm, they can sometimes be a nuisance.

You know how the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm, and by that, we can conclude that birds are naturally inclined to wake up extremely early in the morning. This is when they can be a source of annoyance.

Since they tend to do a lot of chattering in the morning, they can unwittingly wake you up if your window is particularly close to their nesting trees.

And if you have fruit trees around your house, the chirping is going to be even louder, seeing as most birds are quite fond of fruits.

So, how to keep birds out of trees? Let’s find out!

Ways to Keep Birds Out of Trees

birds in yard

There are plenty of different ways to keep chirping birds out of your territory so you can enjoy some quality sleep. And while some of them aren’t exactly permanent, they’ll help in the long run or at least for a short while.

Using Spikes

Spikes are particularly useful and easy to use. And rest assured, they don’t inflict actual harm on the birds; they just serve as a warning not to rest on the trees.

The way these spikes work is by placing them on the branches of the trees. The upward spikes deter any creature, not just birds, from standing on the branch.

This trick is guaranteed to work. As long as these spikes are up, not a single creature will dare to sit atop any of the spiked branches.

However, there’s a downside to using them. Those spikes can be particularly heavy, and softer or brittle branches of smaller trees will simply break if you place the spikes on them for long.

Author Note: There’s also the weather factor. If you live in a particularly rainy area, the spikes, which are typically made out of metal, will be susceptible to rust.

So if you decide to use spikes, make sure you use them on bigger trees with strong branches.

Using a Bird Repellent

Not everyone is aware of this but there’s always the option of a liquid bird repellent. These are excellent at keeping birds away since birds tend to keep away from their smell.

A great thing about bird repellents is that they never harm the birds. The birds just avoid the place you sprayed.

There are also natural formulas that don’t harm animals, plants, or anything that comes into contact with it.

The only downside of using a bird repellent is that it’s not cost-efficient. Continuously buying these formulas isn’t exactly economical.

Using Shiny Objects

I know what you’re thinking, how on earth can shiny objects deter birds? But it just so happens that shiny objects act as bird repellers because they reflect the sun and birds don’t particularly like being blinded by the sun’s rays.

And in this case, you can actually use anything shiny around your house. This approach can be 100% DIY, but it does come with one downside.

You see, not all types of birds are deterred by shiny objects. Crows are particularly fond of collecting them. That means that, more often than not, your “shiny object” will be snatched off its place by a curious crow.

So, before you decide to go with this method, make sure to do your research about whether your area is frequented by crows or not.

Using Lifelike Preys

Birds might be cheeky, but they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed, so you can definitely fool them with lifelike statues or figurines of their prey.

This can be easily achieved by placing a small figure of a large owl on the tree or near it. You can also put one of a scarecrow, or an eagle.

Birds will see them and get frightened and they will probably avoid your garden completely as long as you have them hanging around.

However, there’s also a downside to using this method. These figurines don’t come cheap. A particularly larger figurine of, say, an eagle can be actually expensive.

And since you’ll need to place a lot of them in your garden to actually make a difference, this makes this method a little bit costly.

Employing Your Pets to the Cause

One of the easiest ways to chase away birds from your garden is the existence of a pet that’s known to be annoyed by the very existence of birds. In this case, we’re talking about cats!

Author Note: Cats are known to chase birds around, and the latter isn’t exactly fond of cats either. Leaving your cat in your garden for a couple of hours will deter birds from flying into it in the first place.

And even if they rest on the trees, cats will probably chase them off it as well, being the good climbers that they are.

Using an Electronic Bird Repeller

One of the upsides of being in the 21st century is that you can always seek technology when all else has failed you. In this case, we’re talking about installing an electronic bird repeller.

These bird repellers release an ultrasonic sound that annoys birds into leaving the place. They can’t be heard by human ears, so you don’t have to worry about any noise yourself.

These work particularly well because they’re considered long-lasting if you keep them installed in your garden at all times.

Use Balls

This might come off as a surprise, but birds get a little bit spooked out by colorful balls. If you hang a few balls of average size on the trees and leave them there, birds will find them terrifying and avoid those trees completely.

The reason for that is that birds mistake these balls for scary, huge eyes and will try to avoid their gaze or being in their vicinity as they would mistake them for being eyes of much larger prey.

One of the great things about using balls is they wouldn’t look ugly at all. They can give your garden a festive, bright vibe, especially if said balls are in bright colors.

Use Netting for Trees

bird netting over home garden

Using large plastic nets (with multiple small holes for air) to cover your trees really does save you from having to deal with birds, as they won’t find a way to actually access the trees around your house.

The downside is that they’re not particularly pretty and might appear odd to anyone passing by. There’s also the factor of them sometimes being blown away by the wind.

Cutting Overgrown Branches

Another simple and easy way is to just cut the branches on which birds dwell, specifically large, overgrown branches.

Cutting these branches won’t do the trees any harm at all, and will help you fight off any birds that might come to nest on the trees.

Cutting those branches off means giving the birds less surface area to stand on. So while you won’t be able to get rid of them completely, you’ll deter them from staying there for a long time and they won’t be able to make nests or lay eggs on them.

This, however, must be done regularly as the branches will grow back over time. So, to ensure that you won’t have to deal with nesting birds, you must make it a routine to cut your overgrown branches to a certain length every couple of months or so.

Using Natural Smells

One of the best ways to keep birds out of trees is to use specific smells that they find repelling, keeping them from even entering the area.

Author Note: We’ve already discussed chemical bird repellents; what we’re talking about in this segment is organic smells like the smell of garlic, cayenne pepper, and peppermint oil.

Like bird repellents, these smells can work extremely well because they’re long-term. Their only downside is that they can sometimes annoy you, as they can be harsh on your nose as well.


birds perched on long branches

In conclusion, there are several ways that are guaranteed to keep birds away from trees, as detailed above. You just have to pick one that fits your situation and budget.

In our experience, the best way to keep birds out of your trees is by using a liquid repeller or an electronic repeller.

These two ways are guaranteed to work when it comes to repelling birds and they work particularly well in the long run.

If you’re not fond of such methods, we highly recommend using shiny objects, spikes, balls, or netting to keep birds away. They’re effective and don’t require constant budgeting.


How to keep birds out of trees?

One way to keep birds out of trees is to use physical barriers, such as bird netting or bird spikes. Another method is to use visual deterrents such as reflective tape or plastic owls. Additionally, providing alternative roosting or nesting sites, such as bird houses or nesting boxes, may also encourage birds to leave the trees.

What can I spray to keep birds away?

There are various sprays available in the market that can be used to keep birds away, such as those containing methyl anthranilate, capsaicin, and other irritants. These sprays can be applied to surfaces that birds are roosting or nesting on, but it’s important to ensure that they are safe for the environment and do not cause harm to the birds or other animals.

What smells will keep birds away?

Certain smells can be used to repel birds, such as vinegar, essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint, and citrus scents. These smells can be used in the form of sprays, diffusers, or even as a natural ingredient in bird repellent products. However, it’s important to keep in mind that birds have a strong sense of smell and may get used to certain smells over time, so it’s necessary to change them periodically.

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