A tree guard, as the term suggests, is a shelter that protects an individual tree. Tree guards have a tube shape and are made from different materials.
So, how do tree guards work? Different mechanisms are used to fasten tree guards closed. As an example, some make use of zip ties to fasten them closed. By fastening them closed, you will be creating a greenhouse environment. Tree guards are available in different sizes for trees of different sizes. They are fastened into the ground by pinning them into the ground. Replace the tree guard as the tree grows.
One of the greatest benefits of a tree guard is that it offers tree protection from browsing animals. If you live in a area that has a big deer population, the trees and shrubs that are most vulnerable to deer impact are Ash, Aspen, Firs, Hazel, Holly, Norway spruce, Oaks, Rowan, Scots pine, and Willows & sallow. Without a tree guard, you risk finding the bark of that special tree stripped, getting half the garden eaten, or finding your planting bed destroyed. A tree guard will save you money since you will not have to keep on replanting seedlings.
If you have a deer problem, using a tree guard is the most humane deer prevention method since you will not harm the animal. Note that deer protection is mandatory in most jurisdictions and harming the animal attracts hefty fines.
Other than deer prevention and tree protection, tree guards are also advantageous in that they help with UV protection. UV (ultraviolet) rays are just as harmful to seedlings and young plants as they are to human beings and animals.
If you are worried about mildew and moisture build up, you need not worry because there are many tree guards made of rigid plastic mesh. The mesh design is also advantageous in that it allows air in. Tree guards are also advantageous in that they keep insects and small animals out. Insects and small animals not only destroy the plant by chewing away the leaves, the stem, and the roots, but they also spread diseases.
The greenhouse environment created by tree guards is important because it stimulates rapid height growth. This is particularly important if you have planted such slow growing broad leave species as oak (but do not use a tree guard for beech because the tree is susceptible to sooty mould when in a sheltered environment). Tree guards also help trees grow straight.