Tree protectors in Ontario

Hi there. Just wondering if there is a consensus on whether the plastic protectors are a good idea and/or necessary. The previous owner of my property put them on all the trees but has also surrounded them with chicken wire. A neighbour felt like in some cases the protectors were choking out the tree and especially with the chicken wire they weren’t neccesary especially on mature trees. Love to get your thoughts. Thank you!

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I have so many pests (rabbits, voles, mice) that may potentially eat tree bark that I prefer a defense in depth. Voles, in particular, routinely burrow and so may work their way under the chicken wire. So I like to have something close to the bark. The outer layer of chicken wire also helps protect against bucks rubbing their antlers against the trunk.

The plastic protector you picture does not automatically unroll as the trees grows so is will girdle the tree unless you loosen it at least once a year.

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I use them. I think they’re great to guard the trunk from rodents and deer rub… They are said to also protect from sunscald or SW winter injury.

The ones I have are fairly loose, so I can’t imagine they would choke or girdle the tree. Maybe I’m not there yet.

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LOL – yeah, that’s the dangerous part. You can’t imagine girdling so you don’t do anything to avoid it. Maybe you’ll get lucky but I’d just advise that you start alert. Don’t assume.

Whereabouts are you located?

I do check them periodically and remove them once a year. Most of them get so brittle from sun’s UV. It may be you guys have stronger plastics than mine.

Ok. Thanks so much! I will make sure to go around and loosen them.


Meaning you change them out and put new ones on once a year?

I take it off to spray the trunk with dormant spray.

I use them every year from November to late March. You should remove them in the spring to avoid mildew/rot. Never had a problem with them, they do a great job at protecting from rabbits in the winter and sun scald. Rabbits are vicious here. Every year there are girdled trees and bushes where owners didn’t protect the plants, however bark is starvation food for rabbits so you don’t have to worry once the snow melts and there’s other stuff for them to eat. I’m in Ottawa.

They work great for me in Northern Michigan. Just make sure to get a good brand. The only bad experiences we have had here were from cheap tubes. Now we get the quality ones from Plantra. We haven’t experience any problems in our environment leaving those on all year round.

Thanks, Mike. Appreciate it. I’ll remove them and put ‘em back before winter.

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Good to know. Thank you!

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Buck rubbing starts in September here in NY state, you should have them on by the end of September at least, by November the rubbing is done.