Fall is a time in Nebraska when deer and rabbits start to rub and chew on trees and cause severe damage. Winter sun exposure and temperature extremes cause frost cracking. Tree guards protect against both of these. Install your tree guard now to prevent fall and winter damage. Thin barked trees (Maples, Sycamore, Plane trees) are more susceptible to frost cracking, but we recommend installing tree guards on all trees each fall.
Fortunately, protecting your tree’s trunk is a convenient and easy process.
What are Tree Guards?
Tree guards are a white plastic tube that you install around your tree trunk. The tree guards we recommend are white corrugated plastic 3” diameter x 36” height. These tree guards will fit most newly planted trees.
When to Use Tree Guards
Young trees are at risk of sun and animal-related trunk injury during the fall and winter, so be sure to apply tree guards as part of your yearly process for preparing trees for winter.
Common Causes of Injury to a Tree’s Trunk
- Rabbits and rodents (like mice)
- Winter sun (sunscald, frost crack, trunk splitting, etc.)
In the fall deer rub their antlers and mark their territory causing severe trunk damage. In winter when other food sources become scarce, deer, rabbits and mice chew tender young bark. Winter sun can also be detrimental to a tree’s trunk. Clear, sunny days in winter, followed by cold nights cause a trunk’s bark to expand in the warmth of the sun during the day and shrink at night. This expansion and contraction in a short period of time causes splitting in the bark, especially on the side of the tree that gets the most prolonged sun exposure. Trees with lots of sun exposure can be affected by sun scald (like sunburn) as well, regardless of the season. Tree guards that are cream-to-white in color help to reflect light and heat, thereby reducing the level of harm the sun can cause to young tree trunks.
Tree guards are durable and reusable. We recommend installing tree guards in the fall and removing them in May. If you live in an area with a heavy deer or rabbit population you may want to leave them on longer.
Call Jensen Gardens (402) 253-8880 to order yours or stop in our nursery located at 20714 S. Hwy 50, Springfield, NE 68059.