options for fencing a 7 acre yard

joeschmoe80February 14, 2014

Due to problems with deer, trespassing, our children, and our dogs, we want to fence our 7 acre yard.

It's HUGE, I know. We'd be looking at 2200 linear feet, minus about 300 feet at one side of the back of the lot, which backs up to a commercial property that already has chain-link fencing we could connect to. We don't have an HOA, so there's just county or township code to worry about (Delaware County, Ohio).

Since we have a fairly new home in a "nice" area, we don't want anything too ugly at least at street-level. Doing the whole thing in a nice wrought-iron type fence would cost more than the house, so I was thinking of some options, maybe even a hybrid of options that would work.

What would be a way to have something that at least on the street side looks nice, less concerned about the sides and back, to accomplish this goal?

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It needs to be 8 ft high if you want to keep deer out. 4" wire mesh on treated wood posts is probably the best option cost-wise. You'd probably want something else for the street side.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 4:10PM
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That actually sounds like something that could be make pretty cheaply. I've seen wire mesh at $0.70 or less per linear foot, but not 8' high, usually 5'. I suppose I could stack it, though, one row on top of the other with a little overlap.

I don't care if it's not that pretty, my intent is to plant an informal looking hedge in front of the back and sides (in front from my view point, "inside" the fence) that, hopefully in a decade, would conceal the view of the fence. Something similar to the row of arborvitae that everyone does, but with some more variation in plants and depth...but that's a topic for the gardening forum.

For the front/street, I could probably swing the cost of a decorative/wrought iron, or even a high-end vinyl, just across the front, but I've never seen one 8 feet high. The highest is 6' that I've seen.

Then I would need to figure out some creative landscaping to soften the transition from the "nice" fence to the wire mesh fencing.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 5:56PM
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I think you're taking the wrong approach.

Figure out the most you can comfortably spend on a nice looking fence, then make your fence large enough to hit the number and no more. Who says you have to have all seven acres fenced?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:56AM
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I agree it needs to be 8' high to keep deer out. Are you sure there are no local codes that limit or regulate fence height?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Bull strong,hog tight and deer tall is what we call that fence in Texas. We use woven wire on steel posts along remote boundries as well as between public roads and $2mil homes. The appearance is acceptable here because there is no alternate for less than 4X the cost. The ugliest estate enterance near me is made of marble and stainless steel. Appearance is dictated by region.
You need to realilisticly state your expectations in each critaria of tresspassers,children,dogs and deer. If you seriously want maxium containment ability,it will require razor wire along the top because children and trespassers can climb. The bottom must be set against a concrete curb because dogs can dig. And as already discussed,grown buck deer can jump more than 6' tall fence.
So tell us what you can live with rather than emagine? I know deer brouse plants but are you growing food crops or have landscape that is too valueable to risk occasional tipping by deer. A 6' net wire with 2 strands of barbed along top will discourage 90% of deer that would come on unfenced property. Doe and fawn don't jump 6' fence unless fleeing danger and it's easier for bucks to go where entry is far easier. If your dogs refuse to chase off deer and trespassers,why do they need access to the intire place? Unless the children lack respect for athority,telling them not to leave the property,fence or not, should be all that is required.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 11:43PM
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I wouldnt make it 8 ft tall. That would be really ugly. I would make it 4 ft tall. Deer wont wander inside the fenced area. They might jump it if there is something want like an apple tree. Use round treated posts. They are cheaper. Put corner posts in with concrete and use diagonal braces at corners or where you might have a gate. Use non welded wire. This makes it easier to pull the wire on sloped ground and fit close to the ground. Staples of course for hold fence. The fence wire wont be that noticeable. If you want to make nicer in the front part, you could use 4x4's with white vinyl sleeves.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:00AM
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A 4' tall fence will not deal with most of the problems the OP is concerned about, particularly deer. It is possible to build attractive fences that are tall...it's just a question of design and proportion. I built one that was 9' tall several years ago to screen off a busy street that was at a higher level than my lot. The fence looked fine.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Rather than "children", I guess I should say "teenagers screwing around in my yard." Three punks drove their snowmobile over three Japanese maples last week. MY kids I can handle.

Question - are deer any less likely to enter my property from the "street" side vs. the back of the lot? IOW could I get away with some fencing only in the back to discourage them?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:00PM
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We live in a suburban neighborhood and have deer problems. I can assure you that they will get into your yard through any opening in a fence. Having just one side of the lot fenced is close to having no fence from a deer's standpoint. In addition, they do a lot of their walking around and eating when it's dark so they are usually quite comfortable walking anywhere when there are few humans around. Sorry....

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Deer are as likly to enter from the side facing a road as any. Maybe even more so if you recall what I said about them jumping as apposed to walking around when spooked. Again,you must be realistic about how many deer you can tolerate. If you are determined to have none or as few as possible,you have few choices,all expensive and some realy expensive. Constructing a tall fence is not near as difficult as keeping it standing upright and straight. Which brings us back to the questions regarding appearance. Which do you consider least atractive,a functional net wire on steel T-posts fence that remains tight,straight and upright for years or a fashionable fence that tends to lean,sag and deterioate with each passing year? One of the most expensive fences around is a brick thin wall often seen between upscale homes and public roads. You need only talk to any HOA that maintains one to find how problmatic they are. If you absolutly must prevent deer entering your property,drive around your neighborhood to see what others have done and how well it works and looks.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:41PM
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I agree that you don't need to fence your entire acreage. Unless you've landscaped or are farming it all. I have 6.5 acres and just put in an electric fence. I even ran it along old fencing from the previous owner.

Will your zoning permit an 8' fence?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:06PM
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Well, this winter I've had deer partially or completely eat about $2500 worth of landscape plants. Some will come back, but I can't do this every year.

Here's a question...if I plant something that deer love, and prefer over other plants, with the intent of letting them have it, would it cause them to avoid less desirable plants, or end up causing bigger problems by drawing more deer to my yard?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:18AM
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Unfortunately, you can't limit what the deer will eat by giving them something they like that you can provide. They will eat both what you have provided for them and whatever else they want to. If you really liked steak, and went to a wonderful buffet with unlimited steak, I suspect you would eat more than just the steak...deer are the same way. In my yard they will eat the leaves off some fruit trees and not touch others. The whole thing is just a salad bar to them. I have a friend who also has deer problems on her 5 acres and has experimented with many things. She even went around the yard spraying her favorite plants with an expensive solution that makes the foliage bitter to the taste. This worked fine until the plant had new growth: the deer would just eat the centers of the plants that had grown out after the spraying.

If you want to control deer damage, the only options I know are:
1) an aggressive outdoor dog, and/or 2) a tall enough fence that completely surrounds the area you want to protect, and/or 3) a hunting permit and a deer rifle. I have none of those, but I have friends that employ one or more of these measures.

Lastly, I will say that I have had pretty good success in using a product call "Scarecrow" which is a motion-activated sprayer that is hooked up to a hose. It's not perfect, but it is a lot cheaper than building a fence if you don't have to protect your whole 7 acres. I have about 6 of them in a crisscross fashion around my fruit trees, and it does deter a fair amount of deer damage. To be effective, you need multiple devices for a large area, and you have to arrange them in a pattern that the deer can't figure a way to sneak around.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scarecrow

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:38AM
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I used a poly mesh fence by Tenax. 8' high, 165' rolls, about $300 a roll or less than $2 a foot. There are other less expensive versions. I used it along the back sides of my property.

Instead of posts, I attached it to trees, and I reset the fence every couple of years to prevent the tree from absorbing the fence. Supposed to have a 20-year lifespan. Been 10 years with no issues.

I also planted two types of evergreen trees randomly along some of the property in front of the fence. Cryptomeria Japonica, I used both "Yoshino" and "Radicans". They take a couple of years to kick in but then grow 3' a year.

Unlike arborvatae, deer do not eat or nibble on the CJs. I've had no insect issues with the trees either.

I'm in CT.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:45PM
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I don't know about the deer you folks have but around here they wouldn't think twice about getting over an 8' fence.

In a single bound like Superman.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:02PM
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I don't know about the deer you folks have but around here they wouldn't think twice about getting over an 8' fence.
In a single bound like Superman.

Yep, here as well. They don't even need to have a running start.

If you have 7 acres, it is unreasonable to attempt to keep the deer out entirely. Yes, they cause damage to landscaping, but they are part of the landscape of the area where you live. I have never understood people feeling the need to keep wildlife out of a largish tract of land. It's a little silly, not to mention a losing proposition. If you wanted a deer-free area, you moved to the wrong location.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:32AM
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A few more suggestions that are supposed to work:

1. Double fence. Deer can jump high, but not high and far at the same time, so install a double fence with a separation of 4-5 feet; it also allows you to build shorter fences.

2. Slanted fence. Build a fence where the top -- or the whole fence -- slants out at a 45 degree angle.

Below is a link to one of the better articles I've seen on this issue. Finally, if you do a Google search for "deer fence images" you'll get some more ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Effective Deer Fences

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:05PM
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