The government has committed to increase new planting of woodland to 30,000 hectares a year in the United Kingdom. In England, a significant proportion of this will be with broadleaved trees which must have adequate protection to ensure successful establishment.
Tree shelters and guards are an effective means of establishing broadleaved trees, providing protection from browsing mammals and enhancing tree growth. There are alternative silvicultural practices, such as using fencing rather than individual protection, that can help to reduce the need for shelters and guards.
The Forestry Commission has released a report 'Tree Protection: The use of tree shelters and guards' to help guide the use of tree protection (see link below).
To be effective, shelters and guards need to be robust enough to cover the establishment period. This could be for only a few years, but on challenging sites this may be well beyond five years.
Tree establishment is a critical period in the creation and management of woodland. Tree failure is expensive and can result in payments being reclaimed from agreement holders. Tree shelters and guards vary by type, size and material and the type used must be able to fully protect the tree throughout the establishment period.
Follow the link below to download the report and more information on what to consider when deciding which protection to use: