Image: Tree guard removal volunteers after completing the site, April 2022

Our incredible ranger team have been hard at work completing the Tree Guard Removal Programme at our Buttons Ramsey site in Wootton. The team, joined by Forest of Marston Vale and corporate volunteers, have spent several days over the last two winters removing spiral tree guards from the trees that were planted in Buttons Ramsey 18 years ago. Tree guards are placed on young trees as part of the planting process to protect them from the elements and wildlife that may damage the saplings. The removal of tree guards on these trees is an exciting next step as trees reach maturity and no longer require protection.

The tree guards removed on this project are made from plastic and therefore, are not biodegradable. Although we recycle where possible (link to our recycling method blog) we have some exciting new developments as we continue to evolve our tree planting technique to better suit the environment of our sites. With help from Tubex Nature tree guards we are now trialling biodegradable tree guards which are made of entirely bio-based polymers which are wholly or partly derived from biomass – i.e. from plants, trees or animals. Not only does this give our rangers and volunteers a lot less work to do, but it also benefits the surrounding areas by preventing the pollution of nearby river systems and harm to local wildlife.

Image: Tree guard removal session March 2022, by Martin Rogers

Many of our sites still contain plastic tree guards which will eventually need to be removed. Much of our tree guard removal takes place in the winter as we do not want to disturb the activities of breeding wildlife, and so, work to remove these guards will continue from October onwards.

If you would like to take part in this rewarding project then we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Community Engagement Officer, Jo Roberts on [email protected] about our volunteering opportunities.


Image: Tree guard removal session 4th October 2022, tree guards ready to be recycled or disposed, by Martin Rogers

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