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tree guards types and protecting saplings

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tree guards types and protecting saplings

Postby smojo » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:00 pm

I'm looking for some experienced answers on this please. Looking around my woodland I have noticed quite a lot of regeneration in the form of very small saplings between 50mm and 500mm. I'm brushcutting the thick brambles and so firstly I want to protect them from getting hacked and secondly from deer etc once they are exposed and more vulnerable. So first questions are to do with standard tree tree shelters or guards before ordering any.

What are the best type for the taller ones to stop deer eg what material and does the colour make a difference to the plant

What about old ones - I found some in the woods a few years old - a sort of pinky brown colour. I've used a few but if you think they are no good then I can replace them.

What about tiny saplings say about 50mm high? Tall 1.5 metre guards seems a bit of overkill on such small ones and they will have a long way to go before emerging. Is there any special type for such small ones? Should I just cut the longer ones down and replace with large ones when they get bigger? I've seen shorter ones that are spirals. Very cheap and they say they often don't need stakes. Any good?

Do you know of a good (cheap) online supplier

Ta
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Re: tree guards types and protecting saplings

Postby SitkaSpruce » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:48 pm

I'm not sure this is an answer but it is experience. Our wood has been recently planted and they've done the usual broadleaves round the outside abutting the road planted in tubex 1.2m tubes. The Forestry Commission man didn't like these at all pointing out that the trees are often damaged by the tube and to take them off as soon as we could, cutting the ties first so the tree got used to standing by itself and then cutting off the guard long before it splits or falls apart from UV. The results are very mixed- some trees just fell over, others were damaged and inside the tube was often wet and full of dead leaves- but they have grown much more quickly than other trees and the deer can't eat them or fray them when they are small. The FC suggested short tubes more to see where the trees are but I'd be concerned about deer damage then. We planted hazel and goat willow last year as enrichment and used spirals as protection but the leaves got all trapped inside and it got steamy and horrid and I think the deer have chewed what comes out of the top. At present I thinks the tubes are the lesser of two evils but not the answer.
You asked if you could reuse tubes- If they are still clear I think you'd be ok but yours sound cloudy and discoloured so will limit the light to your trees. I've also been looking at prices - they are expensive- about £1 per tube and very expensive if you need them delivered- better to source locally if you can and collect, or buy a lot!
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Re: tree guards types and protecting saplings

Postby oldclaypaws » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:08 pm

We 'inherited' a load of semi rigid 1.5m black plastic netting which had been put round our Hazel to keep the deer off. (It was a disaster- the brambles grew over it, the hazel grew through it, and it became a right mess). I'm managing to recycle it though as tree protection, I just cut off a foot length, curl it round to form a tube and use 3 short bits of garden wire to tie it into a roll round the tree. I do see various forms of mesh for sale, both metal and plastic, which could be used to do the same thing fairly affordably. If wanting support, you can wack in a Hazel stake.

netting.jpg
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Re: tree guards types and protecting saplings

Postby smojo » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:43 am

but they have grown much more quickly than other trees and the deer can't eat them or fray them when they are small.


Yes I read somewhere that oak saplings in tubex will grow up to 6 times faster than those unprotected due to the micro climate created inside them. As time is of the essence for me to see progress in my woods, that has to be a plus point. I did wonder whether enclosing them in plastic might encourage disease from fungi etc though. I have seen mesh tubes which will protect from animals but obviously you don't get the micro climate effect.

I've also been looking at prices - they are expensive- about £1 per tube


Spirals are much cheaper, I've seen them about 30p each
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Re: tree guards types and protecting saplings

Postby Andy M » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:13 am

....but the problem with tubes that are a bit too large is mouse damage! One way or another Gaia will share it all evenly.
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Re: tree guards types and protecting saplings

Postby Terry » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:10 pm

smojo wrote:
but they have grown much more quickly than other trees and the deer can't eat them or fray them when they are small.


Yes I read somewhere that oak saplings in tubex will grow up to 6 times faster than those unprotected due to the micro climate created inside them. As time is of the essence for me to see progress in my woods, that has to be a plus point. I did wonder whether enclosing them in plastic might encourage disease from fungi etc though. I have seen mesh tubes which will protect from animals but obviously you don't get the micro climate effect.

I've also been looking at prices - they are expensive- about £1 per tube


Spirals are much cheaper, I've seen them about 30p each


Hi Smojo

not really a plus point - fast growth comes at a cost. In tubes as the tree is protected it will be weak when exposed to the elements as it has not had to resist wind etc. Much as we like to manipulate nature, it does things at a particular pace for a reason.
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