Protect Your Trees - Tree Tubes sold year round!
Young trees, called seedlings or saplings, have succulent leaves, and are at a good browsing height for wildlife such as deer or rabbits. Also, bucks like to rub their antlers against trees to remove the velvety nap covering their antlers. Unfortunately, this rubbing done by the deer shreds or completely abrades the tree’s vessels that transport water and nutrients from the soil to the leaves and vice versa. If the damage, either removal of too many leaves or shredding of the bark, is too severe, the tree will die.
Trees provide improvements in aesthetics, shade, and recreation. Young trees are a valuable investment in a property, but often require protection from wildlife. Several approaches are available to protect trees from wildlife; which approach taken depends on the size of the tree, location, and resources available.
At Licking Soil & Water, tree tubes are the preferred tree protection. Tree tubes create a barrier between the bark and leaves, provide venting, and create a mini greenhouse. A 5’ or shorter tree tube protects seedlings. For larger trees, protect the lowest branch to the ground by covering the trunk of the tree with a commercial product or repurposing 4-6” drainage tile. The lighter the tree tube color, the better to heat the tree up in winter, and not overheat it in summer. Beware of hiding insects and burrowing rodents damaging the bark where the tree tube meets the ground.
Other tree protection includes:
- Chicken wire or plastic mesh discourages deer rubbing and other wildlife damage such as browsing.
- Plastic netting or bird netting around young trees protects them from wildlife.
- Properly constructed high fences that deer cannot jump over can be expensive and may not be suitable everywhere.
- Various repellents are available, but have mixed results and need to be applied periodically.
Generally, the best way to control wildlife damage to young trees is through a combination of methods. To reap the shade, recreation and aesthetic benefits of trees for years to come, change the protection method as the tree grows.
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