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Why People Hang Aluminum Foil From Trees

A woodpecker is next to a foil-wrapped tree.

There are a plethora of gardening hacks at your disposal. From how to upcycle planters to how to use your leftovers to help your plants grow, there are so many ways to hack your yard. There’s actually one odd hack that you might have seen but not quite understood.

If you’ve ever seen aluminum foil hanging from or wrapped around trees, it’s all about protecting fruit from birds.

Fruit-bearing trees and bushes are great additions to your garden, but unfortunately, birds love them just as much as you do. They’ve got a fresh food source right in your back yard which means that tree you worked to grow and are caring for isn’t bearing as much for you. Aluminum foil is the humane answer to distracting birds.

All you need to do is hang a few strips of aluminum foil from your branches. Using a hole punch, add a hole in the top of the strip, string it with a clear fishing line, and tie it to branches. If you don’t want to take the time to do this, you can also wrap portions of your branches in the foil as well.

Why does this work, though? Birds are deterred by the bright reflection of the sun which interferes with their eyesight. When it reflects off the hangings bits of foil, they avoid the area. If you’ve ever seen CDs hanging from branches, it’s the same concept. As for wrapping it, they also dislike the feel of the foil on their feet, and it causes the same sort of reflection as hanging the foil.


Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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