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Florida’s Invasive Landscaping

When hearing the term “invasive species”, many think of lionfish, released pythons, and monitor lizards-all the things heard about on the news. But which species does the most damage to Florida’s ecology? The answer may surprise you.

Invasive plants are plants that are non-native to the United States. They are often purposely introduced for agricultural purposes as well as ornamental purposes but have sometimes been accidentally introduced. In fact, one-third of the plants growing on their own in Florida are invasive non-native species.

This may not sound like such an issue, but invasive plants have the abilities to change ecosystems and often times will even push out native plant (and animal) species. In this article, we will be covering some of Florida’s invasive plant species that are commonly used in landscaping, how they affect Florida’s natural wildlife, and what you can do to help.

Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum Camphora)

The Camphor Tree was originally introduced to Florida from Eastern Asia around 1875. When distilling the wood from the tree, camphor is formed. The plants have been traditionally used for medicinal purposes in China and Japan, and the chemical camphor can be found in many over the counter products, such as Vicks VapoRub.

Camphor tree used as ornamental landscaping

The trees were found to be of little profit in Florida, as China and Japan had already cornered the camphor production market. From there, the camphor tree was sold as an ornamental. The plants are attractive and put off a pleasant smell when the leaves are crushed or branches break, but unfortunately, they can be detrimental to Florida’s native ecosystem.

Camphor trees can grow to around 75 feet tall and have wide-reaching branches that create canopies. This seems ideal for Florida, as shading the sun cools down homes, but this can be dangerous. When many camphor trees grow together in close proximity, they create a dense canopy and shade-out smaller, ground growing plants.

The spread of camphor trees is aided by the plants’ high seed yield. Seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals, which allows the seeds to spread quickly and with ease. The camphor tree is able to acclimate to many environments and can quickly take over areas that have been recently cleared or experienced a burn.

In Polk County, a native Florida plant is in danger thanks to the camphor tree. The Florida Jujube is an endangered plant, native to this county. The introduction of the camphor tree is pushing them out. Sadly, this is something we are seeing more and more of.

It can be difficult to remove a camphor tree from your property. The branches are very weak, and often drop twigs or berries, resulting in many saplings around the base of the trunk. It is recommended after the removal to mow the area until no more saplings return. Cut the tree down as close to ground level as possible and treat the stump with herbicide. Burn the tree debris to destroy seeds or take them to a landfill to ensure they will be buried too deep to sprout.

Melaleuca (Melaluca quinquenervia)

Melaleuca forest forming in the Everglades

Melaleuca is native to Australia and was brought to Florida in 1906 as a potential source for commercial lumber. It was also planted in the Everglades to dry up the land for development, as well as control the mosquito population. Since then, the spread has been rapid, and today is threatening one of Florida’s most diverse ecosystems.

Melaleuca grows in dense forests, which displaces plants, disturbs water flow, and changes soil conditions. Invasions make areas uninhabitable for endangered species, like the Florida panther in the Everglades. It also poses a threat to migrating birds, who rely on native fruits and seeds during their migration.

Melaleuca has paper-like bark

The oils present in the plants’ leaves and its dry, paper-like bark allow it to burn at a much higher temperature than most plants, making it a fire hazard, which poses a larger threat to the environment and nearby developed areas. In the springtime, melaleuca puts off a strong smell, which can cause headaches and breathing issues. It’s considered highly allergenic.

Ownership of melaleuca without a special permit is illegal in the state of Florida. If you find that you have a melaleuca tree on your property, the best thing to do is to remove it. Cut the tree as close to the ground as possible and treat the stump with an herbicide. Remove the debris by burning it or taking it to a landfill to ensure it will be buried too deep to sprout.

Old World Climbing Fern (Lygodium microphyllum)

Old World Climbing Fern is an aggressive, quick-spreading fern that forms a thick, suffocating blanket over trees, shrubs, and whatever else is in its path. It is one of the largest invasive threats to Florida.

Old World Climbing Fern covering trees

First recorded in Florida in 1958, 20 years later it was well established and already making an effect on the environment. The fern can climb up trees, and force other plant species to compete with it for light. It smothers ground-dwelling vegetation and can kill fully grown trees. When fires occur, the blankets on the ground create a ladder to help spread fire to the tree canopies, causing more damage and spreading the fire further than it may have reached on its own.

This plant spreads quickly; one fertile leaflet can produce 28,600 spores. Spores are easily carried by wind and water, resulting in further infestation.

It is rare to find this plant growing on properties in well-developed areas, but homeowners living in more rural communities may have this issue. If you come across Old World Climbing Fern, contact an environmental department, water management district, or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. If self-removal is necessary, the best way to do so is to burn it. But be careful, cleared land makes it easy for another invasive species to take over.

Cogon Grass (Imperata cylindrica)

A man stands in a field of wild cogon grass

Cogon grass was originally introduced in the 1930s as potential forage for livestock and solution for soil erosion due to urban development. It was soon realized that this plant was little to no help and was more of a nuisance. The grass grows up to four feet tall and spreads rapidly. It grows in thick, dense patches and displaces the homes of endangered ground-dwelling species, like the gopher tortoise.

Cogon grass thrives in hot temperatures, making it an even larger fire threat. It can survive fires that kill fully grown pine trees. This is due to the fact that most of its biomass is underground, meaning the top can be damaged, and grow right back.

Ornamental cogon grass

Cogon grass is sometimes found in landscaping, due to its hardiness and resistance to pests. The blades have serrated edges, so nothing will eat it. It may sound like the ideal ornamental plant, but don’t be fooled, it has been labeled a noxious weed by State and Federal agencies.

In fact, cogon grass is such an issue in Florida that it is illegal to sell hay or sod from fields that it inhabits. If you find cogon grass on your property, remove it by pulling it like many other weeds. Take care to pull out as many roots as possible. Continue to pull the seedlings until they stop returning. If left alone, cogon grass will grow in large groups that can take as many as five years of herbicide treatment to remove.

Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)

First found in Florida in 1905, it is unsure what originally brought the air potato to the United States. It’s possible that it was brought over as a possible food crop, but the toxins found in the fruit made it inedible.

Bulbils growing on air potato vine

Regardless of how it got here, it has now taken over. The air potato’s vines can grow between 70 and 150 feet long and grow as fast as eight inches a day once the plant is established. They climb trees and create a canopy in the trees that forces other plant species to compete for light. The dense blankets it forms can block natural processes like rainfall and fires. The vines overgrow and become so heavy that they break branches, and sometimes topple fully grown trees. They shade out ground-dwelling plants and will sometimes completely alter the ecology.

New plants form from the bulbils (the “potatoes”) that the vine grows. Bulbils range from the size of a marble to six inches in diameter. Even the smallest bulbils can sprout, making it extremely difficult to fight back.

There are many vines growing in Florida, to help recognize air potato if there are no visible fruits, check how the vine is growing. Air potato only grows counter-clockwise.

If you find air potato growing on your property, pull the vines out from where it is growing. Be careful to check that you have removed all bulbils. Pile the vines on the ground and spray them with an herbicide, saturate the leaves as much as possible. The herbicide will be absorbed by the tuber underground, killing the plant. Check the surrounding ground for bulbils that may have fallen from the vine and dispose of them. It is not recommended to pull the vines out from the ground, as the remaining roots will grow back. It will be necessary to reapply herbicide to fully eradicate the plant.

Kudzu (Pueraria montana)

Magazine advertisement for front porch ivies

Kudzu was introduced to America at the 1876 World’s Fair Centennial Exhibition. It was originally found useless, until the mid-1930s, when dust storms began. Congress urged the use of kudzu to fight soil erosion. Farmers were offered up to eight dollars per acre to plant the vines. Also advertised as a “front porch ivy”, kudzu had a helping hand in taking over what is now estimated to be 227,000 acres of land.

Kudzu is a rapidly growing vine. Once established, it will grow up to one foot a day. The vine grows over everything in its path and suffocates anything below it. It will wrap around and squeeze tree trunks, break large branches off of threes, knock down phone and power lines, and has been known to uproot trees.

Since its introduction, it has slowly begun swallowing the south. It is currently spreading in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, The Carolinas, and Florida. Its span reaches as far as Nova Scotia, Canada.

Kudzu growing over abandoned bus

Often found growing alongside highways, kudzus growth is aided by airflow. It can handle extreme temperatures, growing in temperatures as low as negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and will grow anywhere its roots can reach the soil. Kudzu grows over anything, it’s estimated that power companies spend about 1.5 million dollars a year on repairing power lines damaged by the weed.

A large concern surrounding kudzu is the impact that it may have on national parks. The Vicksburg National Military Park currently has 190 out of its 2,000 acres of land infested. Infestation by this invasive plant threatens these parks’ protected biodiversity and many endangered species.

The most practical removal of kudzu is removing it mechanically. Herbicides have been found to be more efficient, but the environmental and health impact of herbicides and insecticides has been a public safety concern since the early 1970s. It takes 40-80 gallons of herbicide to treat one acre of kudzu for one season.

It’s recommended to cut the vine back and mow the vines to prevent regrowth. All the cuttings need to be removed or destroyed to prevent the vines from re-rooting.

Brazilian Pepper Tree (Schinus terebinthifolius)

Vintage postcard with Brazilian Pepper Trees pictured

Brazilian pepper trees were introduced in the 1840s for ornamental uses. The dark green leaves and bright red berries made it a popular Christmas decoration. The trees grow to about 30 feet tall and are one of the most aggressive non-native plants in Florida.

The plants are native to Brazil but can be found in other parts of South America, such as Argentina. Although they may have been a hit with homeowners for landscaping, these plants are dangerous not only to the environment but also to humans.

It looks like holly but is actually in the poison ivy family. For many people, coming into contact with the sap or berries will cause a painful rash. Some may experience respiratory issues when the plants are in bloom.

Brazilian Pepper Tree berries

The pepper tree is dangerous to any plant community that it invades, but none as much as mangrove communities. Since these plants have a salt tolerance, they are able to take over estuaries and change the ecosystem, pushing out native species, many of which are endangered. Manatees, sea turtles, crocodiles, alligators, and even bottlenose dolphins use the estuaries as a home. These brackish waters are key for juvenile aquatic organisms to grow without the threat of predators in open waters.

When pepper trees invade and push out mangrove trees it affects the organisms who use the roots of the mangrove to lay eggs and small organisms that live within the roots. The pepper trees provide poor habitats for native wildlife.

With no predators, seeds are able to easily spread. They can be carried by water or birds and small mammals, although the berries can make birds sick after ingestion. These factors help make the Brazilian pepper tree the most widespread non-native species growing in Florida.

To remove a tree from your property, make sure you wear gloves to avoid skin irritation. Cut the tree down as close to ground-level as you can, and then dig a 5-10 foot circle surrounding the stump and pry it out. Try to cut through as many roots as possible. Pick any remaining root out of the soil and refill the hole with fresh soil. Watch for regrowth, and pull any saplings seen.

If you really love the look of your Brazilian pepper tree but want to remove an invasive species, try the Dahoon Holly. It is a comparable native plant and has the same great Christmas look.

Chinese Tallow (Triadia sebifera)

Chinese tallow is also called “popcorn plant”

Chinese tallow was reportedly brought to the United States in 1772 by Benjamin Franklin, who also introduced soybeans and kale. At the time, it was brought over to be used as a cash crop. The idea was to cultivate the oilseed, but it was found that the plant was useless in agriculture and was from there cultivated as ornamental crops.

The plants became popular thanks to their quick growth, pretty fall colors, and resistance to pests. In fact, nothing eats it, as it has little to no food value for native species and is poisonous to livestock. This has helped the plant spread all across Florida.

Chinese tallow growing in a pothole

Chinese tallow is able to adapt to just about any soil conditions. They are found in wet, dry, and saline environments. It grows in forests, in ditches alongside roads, and just about any place seed sprouts.

The flowers are inviting to pollinators, so fertilization for this plant is easy. Homeowners are urged to remove this plant from their properties if found. Cut close to the ground and treat the stump and surrounding area with an herbicide to kill any seeds that may have fallen off. Keep an eye on the area and pull saplings.

Keep in mind that it is currently illegal to be in possession of Chinese tallow with intent to sell, transport, or plant. If you really love the look of your Chinese tallow, try the bastard copperleaf. The copperleaf is a Florida native within the same family, who has beautiful purple flowers comparable to the Chinese tallow’s.

Mimosa Tree (Albizia julibrissin)

Mimosa blooms

The mimosa tree (sometimes called silk tree) is a very common sight in many parts of Florida. Undeniably beautiful, the trees have been used in landscaping since as early as 1745. While the flowers may be inviting in the spring and summer, come fall the trees lose their blooms and grow 6-inch long, brown pea pods full of seeds.

The seeds themselves cause issues. They are toxic to wildlife and cattle and will also sprout anywhere they can- even cracks in the sidewalk.

Full-grown trees range from 20-40 feet in height and can easily establish itself in many different soil conditions thanks to its nitrogen-fixing abilities.

Seeds from the mimosa tree

Although quick-growing, the plants are not very hardy and have a relatively short lifespan as compared to other tree species, only around 20 years. A disease called “mimosa wilt” can be carried by the tree and may be able to infect and kill other surrounding species.

If not in a yard, they are commonly found alongside highways and in disturbed areas, such as recently cleared land.

To remove a mimosa tree from your property, cut the tree down before seeds develop to prevent saplings from growing in the cleared area. Saturate the stump with an herbicide. Unfortunately, mimosa trees can re-sprout from their stumps, so stump grinding or removal may be necessary. Cut or pull any saplings that grow around the area.

There are two native species that are comparable to the mimosa tree. The eastern redbud blooms with pink flowers the same color as mimosas, and sweet acacia blooms with yellow flowers with the same texture and shape of the mimosa.

West Indian Lantana (Lantana camara)

Non-native West Indian Lantana

Lantana is one of the most common landscaping plants and has been used as ornamentals since as early as the 18th century. They are hardy, medium-sized shrubs and can be planted in clusters or as singles. As the plant grows in popularity, it has also grown across the state.

Now, many people recognize the lantana as a wildflower, as they are commonly found growing alongside highways, in drainage ditches, and in pastures or groves. The brightly colored flowers attract pollinators, drawing them away from native plants and wildflowers.

Since its spread, it has formed a resistance to herbicides, which allows it to become a growing issue in the agricultural industry, as it is oftentimes found growing in citrus groves.

West Indian lantana is also toxic to livestock and cattle, which poses a threat to the animals in the fields it grows in. Children may also become ill if they eat the fruit that the plant grows.

This species of lantana is the most common lantana sold at garden centers and nurseries. This is largely because native lantana (Lantana depressa) is almost impossible to find due to cross-breeding with the invasive shrub. Native lantana is now listed as an endangered species.

Native Lantana depressa

Removal of west Indian lantana is difficult. Because of its herbicide resistance, and growth in delicate areas, the best way to manage the plant is through prevention. Check the genus and species of the plant before purchasing as landscaping and remove the non-native lantana from your landscaping by hand pulling and digging up roots. Dispose of carefully, as to avoid the spread of seeds.

Look for the native option at nurseries, they are often called Pineland Lantana or Gold Lantana. The native lantanas are a great addition to your landscaping to add a pop of color, or in a flower garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” –Howard Zinn

Native plants are a key resource for Florida’s ecosystem and native insect, bird, fish, and mammal species. Non-native invasive plants can leave their effects on the environment, even after they’ve been found and removed. They can change soil conditions, water flow, migratory patterns, and entire ecosystems if left unattended.

To help stop the ongoing spread of non-native invasive plant species, be sure to research what plants are being planted in your gardens. Remove non-native species, replace them with native options, and educate others on the dangers of non-native plants.

By establishing a native plant community, you are also helping to provide food and shelter for hundreds of native and endangered species across the state.

Fencing With Wildlife in Mind

Seminole County, Florida is one of the few places in Central Florida left that still has expansive wildlands. Across the county, you can find wetlands, pastures, farms, forests, hammocks, and many other diverse ecosystems. This natural beauty is what draws many to this region, but it is an ongoing battle to keep Seminole County natural.

One of the pressing issues that Oviedo and Geneva face is urban sprawl, which is described as the uncontrolled expansion of urban areas. Take a drive through Orlando, and you will see this. Apartments being built all along Highway 50, subdivisions popping up by the dozens. This rapid expansion is pushing more and more into Seminole County.

When wildlands are sold for developments, wildlife needs to find new homes, which are often the properties of residents in Oviedo and Geneva, those homeowners who have large pieces of land. It is not unusual for a landowner to want to keep deer, wild hogs, bears, or other wildlife off their properties, but sometimes a land barrier can be dangerous to animals, including your own. This article will cover how to choose the best fence for your needs that will be safe for wildlife.

Many agricultural fences are constructed using high-tensile wire or barbed wire, which is usually safe for livestock but can be deadly for wildlife attempting to clear a fence line. Many times, deer trying to jump a fence will get tangled in woven wire or snagged and caught on barbed wire. This results not only in a slow death for the animal, but a messy cleanup and costly repair for the homeowner. Unfortunately, this scenario is extremely common.

The Ideal Wildlife-Friendly Fence

The ideal wildlife-friendly fence is highly visible, allows wildlife to jump over or pass under, and allows wildlife with access to important habitats.

Researchers at Utah State University completed a wildlife mortality study along 600+ miles of fence in both Utah and Colorado and studied which fence type is the most problematic for wildlife.

The findings were that on average, one ungulate per year was found for every 2.5 miles of fence due to being snared and entangled. Most animals (69% of juveniles and 77% of adults) died from getting caught in the top two wires while trying to jump over a fence. They also concluded that juveniles are 8 times more likely to die in a fence than adults and that woven wire fences with a top wire made of barbed wire were the most lethal fence type.

There are simple steps to avoid these issues, including using a smooth top and bottom wire on fences, allowing at least 12 inches between the top two wires and 16 inches between the bottom wire and the ground, and keeping the top rail at 42 inches or shorter.

Another issue that researchers found with fences is that they often blocked wildlife from crossing and left many young ungulates blocked and stranded. 90% of carcasses found dead next to, but not in the fence, were fawns who were most likely separated from their mothers due to their inability to cross a woven wire fence. Had there been a 16-inch space between the bottom wire and the ground, they would have been able to slip under. It is important to use a smooth wire on the bottom wire so that wildlife who crawl under do not get snagged. A cut from barbed wire can become infected and be lethal to wildlife.

Fence posts were also found to be an issue. Many landowners use open vertical pipes for line and gate posts and have earned the name “death pipes”. This is because open vertical pipes have been found to be silent killers of birds, reptiles, and small mammals who are looking for a safe nesting area. Once in the pipe, it is almost impossible to escape up the smooth sides. To prevent this, fill pipes with concrete or use caps to cover any open pipes.

Another safety concern is the visibility of the fence. This is especially important if you live near grasslands or marshlands. Many times, low flying birds will not see a wire fence and become entangled and unable to escape. Seminole County is home to a handful of endangered species, including two large low-flying birds, the Sandhill Crane and the Wood Stork. These are federally protected birds that face danger if they cannot see your fence lines. A ranch rail style fence is visible, but wire fencing is not always.

To fix this, add a top board to your fence line (just make sure the fence is still shorter than 42 inches!) or, for a more affordable option, run the wire through a PVC pipe for a highly visible line, or simply flag the fence line.

You may be thinking, “Do I really need a fence? Or can I just use boundary markers?”. Many times, using boundary markers can be less expensive to install and maintain long term. They can be as simple as short posts in the ground with no wire between, or hedgerows. If you choose to do a hedgerow, make sure that the species you choose is not an invasive species. Invasive species will often overgrow and become difficult to handle.

If you need to use an exclusion fence, be sure to not fence in large areas that include wildlife habitats. For any fence type, place gates in the corners of the fence lines. Trapped animals are more likely to find the exit if it is in a corner. Deer exclusion fences should be a minimum of 7 feet tall, made with woven wire. Add a top rail for added visibility.

Making some of these minor changes will not only benefit wildlife but landowners as well. Visible or covered wire lowers the chance of an animal to get caught in the fence, damaging sections at a time. The guidelines don’t just apply to wildlife, livestock often get stuck in fencing as well. Remember that a wildlife-friendly fence is often low cost, and saves money long term by reducing future fence repair. Consider your options today.

Types of Field Fences

Wood Horse Fence

Wood is the most common option for horse fences. It is sturdy, cost efficient, and has the rustic appearance that many land owners look for. It is a good choice for a horse fence material, but make sure to take into consideration all options.

Wood fencing, over time, can shrink, warp, discolor, and need minor routine maintenance.  That does not sound like a huge issue, but having to repair a mile of fencing can be a big job. Wood fencing is recommended to be painted to help horses see it, as they are both far-sighted and may not see well at night. A horse plowing into a fence can damage the fence, and harm the horse. Keeping the paint maintained can also be a task.

Wood is sturdy, but ensure that the correct posts are being used to anchor the fence into the ground. For wood fencing, Custom Fence Oviedo does not recommend anchoring with concrete, as concrete holds moisture and will actually speed up the process of post rot. The key to post installation is to have leverage over the above ground section. For example, a 6' tall fence will use 4" x 4" x 10' line posts to provide the correct leverage ratio.

For a horse fence, it's ideal to use a mesh wiring to help prevent the horse to step through the fence. A 2" x 4" wire is best for horses, as it prevents them from stepping through or getting caught in it. Horses are much more likely to fight in a situation where they're stuck than other livestock, and their thinner skin than livestock can make getting stuck in wire a life-threatening situation for them. It is also recommended to use a "no climb" wire mesh, that has openings that are too small for the horse to step up on.

Regardless of material, it is important to understand the height requirements and number of boards necessary to property house a horse. For young horses, the fence should be a minimum for 4.5 feet tall, and be a 3-rail to help prevent the horse from stepping through. Adult horses will require a height of 5 to 6 feet tall and be a 4 or 5 rail to help discourage the horse from jumping or leaning over. Pairing the correct heights, rail numbers, and wiring will assist in choosing the safest and most efficient fence for your horse.

Aluminum and Vinyl Horse Fence

Other options for horse fencing materials include both aluminum and vinyl.

Aluminum

Aluminum is not often seen, but is ideal if building between concrete columns. It is recommended for use in the fronts of properties for aesthetic purposes, or for businesses such as equestrian centers or stable rentals. Custom Fence Oviedo recommends Alumi-Guard aluminum products. Aluminum horse fences have an expensive upfront cost, but require less maintenance than other materials. They are available in 7 different powder-coated long lasting colors.

Aluminum horse fences are available in 2, 3, and 4-rail options and in 8-foot wide sections.

 

Vinyl

Vinyl horse fence has a moderate upfront cost, and is a great option for both horse fences and decorative field fences. Vinyl fencing is a plastic polymer, which helps give the fence a bit of flexibility if a horse were to lean against it. Custom Fence Oviedo recommends Homeland Vinyl products, which are high quality vinyl products containing titanium dioxide as a UV inhibitor. The pigments used in their colored products also contain UV protectants. This is ideal for land owners who want their white fence to stay white without much work.

Although less work than wood, vinyl horse fences are not as strong. The posts and rails are hollow, meaning they may crack if a horse were to lean too hard, or run into the fence.

Vinyl horse fences are available in 2, 3, 4, and 5-rail options and in 8-foot wide sections.

 

 

Field Fence

Field fence, sometimes called deer fence, is another option.

 

If your goal is to keep something in or out of your property, including both livestock or predators, the most cost effective option for your needs may be field fencing. Field fencing in constructed of wooden line posts and mesh wire (oftentimes "no-climb wire). They may feature a wood top rail, depending on the purpose of the fence.

Field Fence is often used around gardens or fields to keep grazing deer out, or as a simple barrier for grazing livestock such as sheep, goats, and cattle.

Wired Field fence is an affordable and effective way to fence in a property. It is available up to six foot in height and can be customized to fit both you and your property's specific needs.

 

Barbed Wire Fence

Barbed wire fencing was the first fencing type found to be able to restrain cattle, and began being used in the mid-1800's. Today, barbed wire remains the most popular livestock fencing because of its availability and affordability.

Barbed wire is relatively affordable to install yourself or have installed, due to the materials required. Most barbed wire fences consist of only wooden posts with wire ran in between. Standard barbed wire fencing usually has the posts spaced 5 to 6 feet apart, and 3 to 5 strands of wire ran between. The galvanized wire come in three categories: classes I, II, and III. Class I has the thinnest coating and shortest life expectancy. Class I wires will begin to show rust after around 8 to 10 years, while Class III won't until around 15 to 20 years. Aluminum coated wiring is sometimes used and yields a longer life.

 

There are many options to string a barbed wire fence, including:

Hand-Knotting:   Wire is wrapped around corner posts and knotted by hand. This is the most common method.

Crimp Sleeves:   Wire is wrapped around corner posts and bound to incoming wire with metal sleeves, that are then crimped using lock cutters. This method should be avoided because the sleeves tend to slip when under tension. This method is best used for repairs in the middle of the fence line.

Wire Vise:   Wire is passed through a hole drilled into the post, and is anchored onto the far side.

Wire Wrap:   Wire is wrapped around a corner post, and wrapped onto a helical wire, which wraps onto an incoming wire. Friction holds the wire into place.

 

While affordable, barbed wire fencing requires a high amount of upkeep. It is also dangerous to most livestock, including pigs, sheep, goats, horses, and calves. It is only recommended for use with fully-grown cattle, and even then, is seen as a controversial form of fencing. This is due in part to the fact that it is dangerous for wildlife. Low flying birds or bats can have their wings ripped by the top wire, and many are too high or not visible for deer, moose,  or anther animals to clear while jumping. They may get tangled in the wire and give themselves fatal energy, or die a slow death if they can not escape.

How Can I Get Barbed Wire Without Injuring Animals?

If you're dead set on a barbed wire fence, or can't afford another type of agricultural fence, there are a few ways to make your barbed wire fence safer to your livestock and wildlife. You can use small PVC pipes along the top wire of the fence to help aid in the fences visibility, and use smooth wire as the bottom wire so that animals crawling underneath don't become injured.

 

If you're not sure which fence type will be the best option for both your needs and the surrounding environment, visit our Fencing With Wildlife In Mind article.

 

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Fence?

Does Oviedo require a permit to build a fence?

Yes. Yes! Yes!!  When building a fence within the city limits of Oviedo, or any Central Florida municipality,  that fence must be permitted. Don’t let anyone or any company in Oviedo convince you otherwise.  In fact, if a fence company tells you that you don’t need a permit, run fast and don’t look back. Chances are the fence company or individual is not licensed and insured, and the fence they install for you will not meet local building codes.

 

What happens if you build a fence without a permit?

 

  1. First, permits are a great way to ensure that the work completed was done correctly, and is completed to building code. Think of it as a form of consumer protection. Permits will need to pass an inspection with code enforcement in order to be closed.
  2. Secondly, unpermitted work can affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage in addition to causing very costly issues if you decide to sell your home.
  3. Last, you can be fined by the city, then have to purchase a permit and pass an inspection. Your inspection may fail, resulting in you needing to complete the project again.

 

If you are still thinking that you don’t need a fence permit, think twice. When you try to pull that fence permit, a city permit technician will utter words such as:

 

  • Historic District
  • Special District
  • Signed and Stamped Architectural Drawing
  • Planned Develop Agreement
  • Pool Code
  • Double Frontage Lot
  • Front Yard Set Back
  • Reverse Corner
  • Right-A-Way
  • Maximize Height Limits
  • Urban Design
  • Department of Transportation
  • Visibility Triangle
  • Corner Clip
  • Administrative Modification
  • Variance and much more…..

 

This is why it’s important to hire professionals who understand permitting and your municipality’s building codes.

 

So yes!!! You do need a fence permit!  Visit the City of Oviedo website and find out more:  https://www.cityofoviedo.net/478/Building-Permits   When in doubt call Paramount Fencing or visit them on the web at www.paramountfencing1.com 

 

ALL MUNICIPALITIES IN CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA REQUIRE FENCE PERMITS, EVEN IF YOU ARE ONLY REPLACING. THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS UNINCORPORATED LAKE COUNTY OR SEMINOLE COUNTY WHO DO NOT REQUIRE FENCE PERMITS FOR CHAIN LINK OR FIELD FENCE.

Responsible Oviedo Fence Company Doing Their Part…

Fence, Vegetation, and Visibility Oviedo.

Anyone that commutes on 426 from Oviedo to Geneva or Geneva to Oviedo knows how dangerous that commute can be.   Last Tuesday there was a terrible accident at Walsh and 426 around 7:40 AM.    The road was shut down.   Anyone who passed the aftermath once the road re-opened probably cringed.

The simple fact is this accident was avoidable.   The line of sight for commuters turning off of Walsh on to 426 was blocked by overgrown vegetation which prevented Northbound traffic from knowing someone was turning southbound.   Couple that with the fact the only passing lanes on 426 as you travel Northbound out of Oviedo starts within 500 feet of the intersection of Walsh Street and 426, an impatient motorist, disaster was inevitable.

The vegetation was part of the Problem.   So we at Paramount Fencing solved that part of the problem.   We contacted the property owner, and with their permission and full cooperation, have removed all vegetation which prevents northbound traffic from knowing a car is turning off of Walsh on to 426 at no charge.    If you know of a similar problem on 426, contact us, and we will remove that vegetation free of charge.

In the meantime,  here is where we need your help.   We need the people to contact District Two Seminole County Commissioner and request that the passing lanes on 426 before and after Walsh Street be eliminated.   We know it sucks, but there are no passing lanes on State Road 46 between Geneva and Oviedo on SR 426 with the exceptions of Walsh, Murphy, and Marsh Streets.    All of these passing lanes are within 500 feet of those intersections.  Understand, these once dirt roads are now paved and are popular short cuts.

Contact Information

Please send e-mail to gvenn@seminolecountyfl.gov
Phone: (407) 665-7205
Fax: (407) 665-7958
Board of County Commissioners
Seminole County Services Building
1101 E. First Street
Sanford, FL 32771

We are asking for your help because one of the vehicles has a mom and three kids involved.   Next, the local bus stop for Geneva Elementry is located where the two cars came to rest.   Understand, the buss normally picks those kids up at 7:45 AM.   Just a reminder the accident happened at 7:40 A.M.  This could have been much worse.

Thanks for your help, Oviedo and Geneva.  Lets drive save. Lets Fence Safe..

Kip HudaKoz- President and Founder Paramount Fencing, Inc.

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