How to Protect Saplings with Spiral Tree Guards

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Squirrels, rabbits and voles, oh my! These are the main culprits when it comes to wreaking havoc to the base of your trees – especially saplings or recently planted trees. The critters scrape and gnaw to get to the inner tree bark, called the cambium layer, when other food sources are harder to come by.

The damage may be moderate but can also bring serious consequences. If all the bark is removed, the tree could be “girdled,” which prevents it from distributing moisture and nutrients into the upper parts of the tree. Plus, a tree’s trunk is vulnerable to pathogens. The moist soil around a tree can be home to bacteria, fungi and insects, which will invade the tree though open wounds left by chewing critters.

A simple spiral tree guard is the best form of prevention – especially for young trees with bark that is easier to break off.

Plastic Tree Guards | DIY Tree Guards | Tree Plastic Guard | Plastic Tree ProtectorsYou can install your spiral tree guards in five easy steps.

  1. Unravel the spiral tree guards from one another. Each Eaton Brothers package comes with four individual spirals that may be coiled together when you remove them from the packaging.
  2. Starting at your tree’s base, open the spiral tree guard and carefully wrap it around your tree. Make sure the bottom is flush with the ground.
  3. Ensure the spiral tree guard is standing upright and is loose enough to accommodate tree growth.
  4. Spiral tree guards are reusable, but it is recommended that you remove them twice a year to check on the status of your tree.
  5. If your tree has grown significantly since you installed the spiral tree guard, you may need to loosen the guard.

Saplings are highly susceptible to the antics of neighborhood critters. But these tiny scrapes and gnaws can lead to serious damage to your tree, if left exposed for too long. A spiral tree guard is a good line of defense for young trees.

The Eaton Vinyl Tree Guards are weather-resistant, durable and extremely easy to install. Punched holes provide proper ventilation for strong air and moisture circulation to deter mold and mildew growth. The spiral tree guards also offer protection against accidental damage from line trimmers, sun scald or frost. Biodegradable options are also available.

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