The alternative to plastic tree guards

The alternative to plastic tree guards

The trouble with tree guards…
Plastic tree guards have been a familiar tool used in modern tree planting since the 1980’s. They protect the young tree from browsing animal damage and harsh weather conditions. New research has highlighted the problems plastics can have on our environment, which has led to the question being asked, whether plastic tree guards are contributing to this issue?

Plastic tree guards are often left on trees well past their designed time and left to degrade in the environment. Unfortunately, this degradation process can produce microplastics and a range of environmental problems. I will be discussing the trouble with tree guards, plastic-free alternative tree guards available, the possibility of using no tree guards at all-and some science behind this
theory.

By Katie Goldsbrough – Ranger & Freelance Ecologist, Essex Wildlife Trust

I am a ranger looking after Abberton reservoir nature reserve for Essex Wildlife Trust, a free lance ecologist and a volunteer bat carer for Essex Bat Group. I have a degree in zoology and a masters degree in Wildlife Conservation, where I wrote a dissertation on plastic tree guards as plastic pollution contributors. This sparked my passion for changing the way we plant trees in the UK, to be plastic free!

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