Frequently Asked Questions ???
When can I expect delivery of my order?
Typically you will receive your order within 5 working days of placing it. All five sizes of our Kootenay Covers are currently in stock and ready to ship.
With what kinds of fruit do the Kootenay Covers work?
Kootenay Covers work with sweet and sour cherries, apples, pears, peaches, and apricots. Some growers also use them with Carpathian or English walnuts, olives, grapes, and oriental pears. Also, if fruit in your area is frequently damaged by hail, birds, sunburn or wind, you should consider getting a cover.
When should I put my Kootenay Covers on my trees?
You should put the covers on the trees after the blossoms have lost all their petals and before the adult bug pests are scheduled to hatch in your area. This date varies depending on the type of fruit tree, where you live, and the weather in any particular year. If you put the covers on too early, the bees and other pollinators will not be able to pollinate your trees and you will get no fruit. Generally, watch for when the petals have fallen from all the blossoms and put the covers on then.
When should I take the covers off?
When harvest time gets close and your fruit looks ripe, untie the bottom of the cover, slip inside the canopy and eat some fruit. Harvest the amount of fruit you want. Then, step out of the canopy and re-tie the base of the cover around the trunk.
Fruit can be harvested on some varieties of trees over several weeks. If you completely remove the cover prematurely, bugs may have time to lay eggs in your almost ripe fruit and ruin it. Also, birds may show up and eat whatever fruit you have not harvested. Be smart. Keep the cover on until you have picked all the fruit.
How do I care for the cover when the season is over?
After you have harvested all the fruit, take the cover off the tree. Shake off the leaves and other material. Fold or roll it up and store indoors until next year. You can store your unused covers in cardboard boxes in a garden shed, garage or storage room to keep them from getting snagged or unruly while in storage.
How do I decide what size of cover to buy?
Measure the diameter of the tree canopy from one side clear to the other. Buy a cover that is as large as this measurement in feet. See our detailed guidance for more details.
How long can I expect my cover to last?
The answer is: It depends. We know of covers that are 14+ years old and still in good condition. See our detailed instructions to maximize the life of your covers. We do not guarantee a particular life span because the life span is really up to you and factors that we cannot control.
What happens to the cover in a big wind storm?
The covers dampen the effect of the wind on the fruit tree. The cover is typically not harmed by strong winds as the mesh allows enough air to pass through so as to keep the cover from acting like a sail. Fruit inside the cover will sway a little, but not much typically falls off due to wind.
How does the cover stop bird damage?
Birds do not peck at the fruit inside the covers. The holes are too small for the birds to peck through.
What happens when it hails?
Most hail bounces off the covers and no damage occurs to the fruit or the leaves. If you have baseball-sized Texas hail, there may be some damage to fruit near the edges of the tree, but you will have much less damage than you would have had without the covers.
Can the covers be used to protect against frost damage in the spring?
We do not know the answer to this question yet. We are planning some experiments to see if we can figure out a way to do that. Our orchard gets hit by late frosts from time to time and we are still looking for a way to protect our trees from frost.
Will the covers protect the fruit from squirrels?
We have heard from some happy users that the soft shaky nature of the fabric seems to unnerve the squirrels and they will not climb up it. We are continuing to seek feedback from users with squirrels in their orchards.
Will the covers protect against the apple maggot fly (Rhagoletis pomonella)?
We believe so, but we are working to confirm the answer. The adult flies are larger than the mesh holes, so they should not be able to get inside the cover.
What cherry fruit flies do the covers protect against?
Spotted-wing drosophila Drosophila suzukii and common cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis fausta. Most adult flies are too large or unmotivated to penetrate the cover.
What about borers, apple scab, aphids or other insects that are present in my trees?
Treat your trees to control these other insects and pests the same as you would if you do not use Kootenay Covers. One interesting case is controlling aphids organically by releasing ladybug beetles into your tree. If you release the beetles and beetle larvae into the canopy and then close up the cover at the trunk, the beetles are trapped in your tree canopy and will eat the aphids in your tree. Without a cover the ladybug beetles with often fly away with the next breeze and go to work in your neighbors' yards instead of yours.
Does putting a Kootenay Cover on My Tree Bend the Branches?
Yes, the smaller branches will bend and some may grow crooked permanently. However, having some crooked branches does not harm the tree or reduce production. Instead, having a bit of a maze of sideways pointing branches at the top of the canopy creates a rounded framework of limbs on which the cover can rest safely year after year.
Do you ship outside of the United States?
Yes. We can ship to many countries throughout the world. We charge for shipping orders outside of the United States. We do not ship to Canada. Contact us for more information about international shipments.