The first few years of a tree’s life are its most dangerous. Whether is nature’s onslaught of wind, heat, cold, or critters, to an unwitting homeowner and his lawnmower when he’s not paying enough attention- one mishap or one severe event can mean death for a young tree. Making a small investment in a tree protector for your young tree will greatly increase the chances that your new tree will make it to a size when it’s large enough to handle these things on its own.
There are better tree protectors than others for young trees. Some things to keep in mind when choosing a tree protector for your young tree:
- Make sure the tree protector enclosing a young tree is vented. Ventilation helps to create a more even temperature inside of the tree protector that matches the outside temperature. This ensures that the young tree is able to harden off as temperatures drop before it freezes outside. Coincidentally, this also helps the young tree break dormancy in the spring in a fashion that’s more like it would without the tree protector. Ventilation also helps dissipate excess heat- a common issue in the south. It also helps move moisture in more humid environments.
- Plastic tree protectors help light reach the tree in amounts that the tree can utilize, making sure the young tree doesn’t stretch towards light. Stretching creates tall, thin growth that will create a top-heavy tree in the future. Top-heavy trees are more vulnerable to high wind fatalities and damage.
- Make sure that your plastic tree protector will also withstand the voracious appetites of creatures such as rabbits and deer, and the lawn equipment that you’ll be using near its vulnerable trunk. Nothing is more deadly to a young tree than an animal looking for an easy meal or a careless buzz with a weed whip on its new and thin cork.
As a tree grows older, it will be able to protect itself better with its thickened trunk, heftier girth and height, and it’s more developed root system. Tree protectors for older trees still need to offer basic protection, but new needs arise. Tree protectors that focus on the trunk are the necessity, and there are many to choose from.
- Metal tree protectors are excellent at protecting the lower part of the trunk from machinery and the gnawing mouths of deer and rabbits. They aren’t always as easy to install, but they do offer superior protection.
- Plastic tree protectors are easier to install, tend to ventilate better, but can be conquered by hungry animals.
- Spiral tree protectors wrap around the base of your tree and are good tree protectors from deer and other animals, but they sit directly on the tree’s bark and can inhibit ventilation. They also offer very easy installation.
Why spend all of that time picking out your new tree, spending the money, installing it in just the right spot, and not offer it extra protection almost guaranteeing an excellent start in life giving you more years of enjoyment? Tree protectors are a must if you want beautiful and healthy trees.
(image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/41188800@N00/)