Have you ever seen a field of newly planted tree seedlings? They’re usually accompanied by a solid/mesh tube, or tree-shelter, to protect and foster the growth of new trees. Originally, they were used to improve the growing conditions for seedlings by creating a miniature greenhouse that would increase air temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels for the tree. However, over the years, they are continually used because of the many benefits they provide to trees.
Produces Strong Trees
Tree shelters can play a critical role in keeping trees healthy in an environment that is not ideal for young tree growth. Properly installed tree shelters can protect against wind damage and fluctuating temperatures during summer and winter by maintaining a greenhouse-type environment while the tree is young. Competing vegetation can prevent young trees from getting the water and nutrients they need, as existing shrubs are more adapted to a site. While a shelter cannot prevent the sapling from competing with other vegetation, it can protect the seedlings from herbicide if the competing vegetation is out of control.
Protects from Animal Damage
Especially around the mid-Atlantic, deer are a huge problem for trees. However, tall tree shelters can typically save the seedling from being eaten. A 4 or 5-foot tree shelter is typically tall enough to protect against deer and bucks. If there is a high population of bucks around, they may rub up against tree shelters, but as long as they are securely staked to the ground, the tree shelter will also protect from antler damage.
Rabbits, voles, and mice love to chew and peel seedling bark near the ground, which is extremely harmful to the tree. A tree shelter that fits snugly to the ground but doesn’t go into the soil can help protect from rodent damage. Tree shelters that are not snug to the ground can actually give rodents a good hiding spot from predators and they may actually make nests in the shelter.
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