Tree planting continues to be one of the most pressing issues facing the industry. It is imperative that both newly planted and long-standing trees are well cared for, and, with that in mind, Forestry Journal looks at a range of products designed to do just that. 


Forestry Journal:

SOIL compaction is a common cause of root dieback and ultimately the decline of the tree. It is the first few passes of heavy plant that causes the damage. The RootBridge system has been developed in response to this, a steel bridge that is supported on a base of screw piles to support the load above the roots and root area. The piles take the load below the root plate and ensure that there is no soil compaction around the fine roots. The steel structure is 80 per cent void, which allows maximum flow of water through the RootBridge and minimises its intrusion on the rooting area.

The roots of a tree play a huge part in the health and natural function of a tree. Trees need food, water, and nutrients to survive. They make their food through photosynthesis and this process is dependent on the water absorbed by the roots. Cutting roots or restricting their space will limit this.

Roots also need oxygen in order to grow. Soil pores hold air and water. If the soil is dense and compacted, there won’t be enough oxygen for the roots. Too much water in the soil also limits oxygen intake. Well-drained soil with enough oxygen and water is best for root growth. The depth the oxygen reaches depends on a number of factors but the highest amounts are found in the top 300 mm of soil. Roots grow horizontally from the base of the tree, buttress roots near the trunk stabilize the tree and woody lateral roots spread out and taper down to the fine ephemeral roots that soak up water, oxygen, and nutrients. These roots grow where conditions are suitable and die back if resources are not available.

Forestry Journal:

The RootBridge system offers a permanent solution to creating a low-impact roadway within the root protection area of existing trees. RootBridge variants range from pedestrian loading up to full highway specification, and we are often involved from planning stage to ensure suitable access can be created into new sites.


Forestry Journal:

SIRANE’s tree shelters are a sustainable, recyclable and plastic-free alternative to traditional plastic tree guards.

Its Earthboard tree guards use unique water-resistant board, additionally coated with a sustainable, plastic-free coating, to give all the properties required to last outside for many years.

More than two million trees are planted every year in the UK alone – meaning a massive amount of plastic could be removed from the environment.

Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “Drive up and down any motorway in the UK, and you’ll see plastic tree guards, and it’s not just motorways, they are everywhere. Well, we can now offer a viable alternative.

“Our shelters have been in development for a while, with design alterations along the way to ensure they survive in the wild for as long as is needed.”


Tree guards are commonly used to protect young trees. They are generally left in place for at least three years and need to resist all weathers. The inside of the guards is white and helps create a microclimate.

Simon added: “Another benefit of our Earthboard tree guards is that they don’t need to be collected at the end of their life. In larger woods and forests, this could save a considerable amount of time and manpower as people don’t need to be sent to collect them.”

There is also another cost saving to using Earthboard tree guards – they are supplied flat-packed, and just fold into shape – meaning many more tree guards can be supplied on just one pallet, cutting delivery costs.

Forestry Journal:

Sirane's tree-guards are supplied in green as standard – but could be supplied in almost any colour, and can also be supplied with custom printing/branding if required.

Standard sizes are 60 cm, 90 cm, 1.2 m and 1.5 m.

For more information, email Corissa Haycock at or visit


Forestry Journal:

TREE Hugger Biodegradable Shelters, available from Agrovista Amenity, are a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic tree shelters or guards. 

Made from organic cotton encapsulated in renewable pine tree rosin, the woven material structure provides protection from weather extremes and grazing animals. The cotton creates a microclimate with good airflow that prevents damage from frost and heat, allowing the tree to thrive.

At the end of their lifespan they will completely biodegrade, meaning that the removal of plastic shelters is no longer required, saving time and money, and ultimately reducing the amount of plastic waste. Tree Hugger guards prevent any risk of pollution and there is no need to go back and collect after their lifespan, which is a painstaking and costly task.

Agrovista Amenity’s landscape manager, Ed Smith, said: "We understand that this is a mindset change and there is an element of trust with using different products.

"This was an important consideration when assessing other products available prior to partnering with Tree Hugger.

"The natural materials to form this guard, cotton and pine rosin, are plant-based. Andrew Industries (parent company) has been working with them for over 100 years so they know how the materials will perform. This is why we guarantee them for a minimum of five years." 

Tree Hugger shelters are available in varying heights from 0.6 m to 1.8 m. There will certainly be no shortage of either as the company has just invested £1.5million in a bespoke production line in Accrington that can produce a nest of 5 guards every 38 seconds.

For more information visit and search Tree Hugger.


Forestry Journal:

WHEN Gary Hurlstone first set up NexGen, his aim was to produce a plastic-free, commercially available tree shelter that would protect young plants without harming the environment.

After four years of design and three years of trials his aim is now a reality.

NexGen’s wool-based tree shelters have been in field trials across the country since late 2020.

The most recent results continue to impress, with reports showing the shelters can well withstand the highs and lows of the British weather.

Sites from the northeast of Scotland to the southwest of England have no issues with premature degradation, showing strong and healthy growth.

If you follow NexGen, you’ll have seen its reports on how algae and mosses colonise the surface of the tree shelters.

This process seems to be supported by the small cavities which appear and hold water as the material starts to degrade.

The degradation process also changes the colour of the shelters, although each shelter changes differently depending on its site, weather and unique ecosystem.

This natural colour palette blends beautifully into the surrounding countryside — not surprisingly when the main base material is sheep’s wool, and when compared with plastic or bio-plastic tree shelters.

A new discovery

What you might not spot’s not so obvious to the casual observer is the fungal growth that forms on the base of  NexGen’s tree shelters. The fungi forms where the shelters have been pushed into the soil to stop voles and herbicides attacking the young trees.

Forestry Journal:

Tim Oliver, NexGen’s technical sales manager, discovered the new growth prevents vole and herbicide ingress. This was discovered during a recent visit to one of the company’s earliest trial sites at a Woodland Trust living laboratory.

Mitigating the impact of climate change

Thinking of the environment, whether you believe that climate change is caused by human activity or is simply a result facet of the nature’s ever-changing rhythm of the universe, you’ll know that not many would argue that rising temperatures and shorter growing seasons are something we’re all having to contend with. going to have to cope with in the years ahead. This is another area where the NexGen’s tree shelters offer significant benefits over plastic and bio-plastic shelters.

During the early summer, when temperatures were reaching the high 20s, NexGen placed thermometers inside different types of 1.2 m high, bio and non-bio several types of identically-sized tree shelters that are all readily available. They measured the temperatures throughout the day and found the NexGen shelter was consistently the coolest.

Available from autumn 2023

NexGen’s new production lines are on track. The tree shelters will be available in commercial quantities this autumn, with the spiral and vole guards to follow later in the year.

You can see more about NexGen Tree Shelters – including a list of its distributors – at  


Forestry Journal: GROWN Green is a company you might not have heard of before, but you will have seen or stumbled across the reasons it was set up – millions of single use non-recyclable plastic tree guards left to litter the countryside and roadsides.

Grown Green has developed an amazing range of environmentally-friendly and naturally-compostable guards, which protect young trees, hedges, and vines, and once they have done their job they mulch down. No collection costs, no disposal issues, and no waste.

Grown Green guards are manufactured in the UK in a sustainably-powered factory. They are 100 per cent biodegradable, utilise-certified FSC materials for full chain of custody, are cost effective and much better for our planet.

Plastic … not so fantastic

The devastating environmental impact of plastic has really come to light in recent years. A turtle eating a plastic bag because it thought it was a jellyfish is an image we will all find hard to forget.

The UK Government has, rightly, started banning single-use plastics, from carrier bags, drinking straws, ear buds, plastic cutlery, takeaway containers, to name but a few, and there will be more to follow.

Following a research project with Lancaster University, Grown Green discovered a few home truths about plastic. It was first created in the 1950s, but because it’s manmade, microorganisms can’t break it down completely, so we end up with nano plastics.

These tiny plastic particles have been found in fish in our seas, in ice at our ice caps, in animals, in humans. Every molecule of plastic ever created is still with us.

Creating one tonne of plastic also creates six tonnes of CO2, so putting plastic tree guards into some of our most environmentally-sensitive areas seems crazy to us. 

Cost effective

Plastic Guards incur additional costs for removal and disposal – a cost rarely considered at the budgeting and planting stage, which probably explains why so many of them are left where they fall littering the countryside.

When your trees are established, the Grown Green guards will naturally mulch down for the benefit of your plant. Industry professionals and tree-planting volunteers alike love using Grown Green guards, they are easy to carry (you can easily carry 50 at a time) and easy to use with their integrated stake holes – no fiddly external plastic ties!

To find out more go to or contact us on


Forestry Journal:

SPECIFYING tree protection solutions should always be an informed choice, with factors such as location, scale, budget, climate, specific browsing risks and sustainability considerations forming any decision. With a wide range of tree and shrub shelters available, Tubex provides proven tree protection for both commercial and conservation projects at scale.

Tubex Recyclable Range

Tubex Recyclable tree shelters are its lowest-impact tree shelter solution, ideal for planting projects of any size.

Made from up to 35 per cent recycled polypropylene (PP) and fully recyclable at end of life through the Tubex Collection & Recycling Programme, the Recyclable range is available in sizes from 0.6 m to 1.8 m to protect saplings from all browsing agents.

The Recyclable range is the lowest impact option thanks to its circular use of material, with each recycled shelter used to manufacture new shelters and other products – thus ensuring that used shelters are collected at end-of-life is essential.

Tubex Nature Biodegradable – New and Improved

The first biodegradable tree shelter to combine externally tested biodegradability in soil with scale of manufacture and proven performance.

Manufactured using a bio-based blend, including sugarcane, corn and starch, Tubex Nature has received significant upgrades including strengthened walls at the zip-tie points and a more prominent flared rim to reduce potential stem abrasion.

Nature is Tubex’s recommended choice when collection and recycling isn’t possible and can be left in-situ to break down over time into water and CO2 through microbiological processes.

Extensive and long-term independent research into soil biodegradability has been at the core of Tubex’s biodegradable product development, and will continue to be so as the forestry and tree planting sectors work together to set industry standards for the future.

Tubex Easywrap – Wrap Shelters Redefined

This year has seen a refresh of Tubex’s range of wrap shelters, with our industry specific offerings consolidated into a new range: Easywrap.

Wrap shelters are our easy to install and remove tree protection solution and are ideal for protection from small animals such as voles, rabbits and hares in both hedging and open planting.

Forestry Journal:

Recent changes to the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) grant scheme from the Forestry Commission now provides for tree wraps, and demand for this shelter type has surged.

Tubex’s Easywrap range is available in sizes ranging from 35 cm to 95 cm, manufactured from up to 35 per cent recycled polypropylene (PP) and fully recyclable at end-of-life through the Collection & Recycling Programme.

For more information on Tubex’s range of products:


Forestry Journal:

VIGILIS Tree Shelters is a leading manufacturer of soil-biodegradable, plastic-free tree shelters alongside traditional polypropylene shelters. But its aim is to phase out production of plastic tree shelters and solely manufacture and supply biodegradable tree protection products by 2026.

The truly innovative Vigilis-Bio tree shelters are made from a blend of bio-based materials: potatoes, wood and corn. Vigilis-Bio performs just like a traditional polypropylene tree shelter, you just don’t need to collect it. It will fully biodegrade in soil. No toxic residues. No microplastics. No industrial composting required.

Vigilis’ promise to you: five years of tree protection followed by two years of biodegradation. Vigilis-Bio tree shelters have been optimally designed to ‘age’ in weather conditions. Once small pieces of the shelter have broken off and come into contact with the surrounding environment, microorganisms will feed off the fragments to break it down naturally. All that remains after biodegradation is water, minerals and biomass which provide a food source for soil microbes.

Vigilis-Bio is backed by over £500,000 of initial investment, five years of comprehensive testing, third party OWS accreditation and the largest UK field-based trials for biodegradable tree shelters.

Vigilis is working with forestry partners across the UK to monitor the performance of Vigilis-Bio tree shelters in situ (sites with high-browsing pressure, exposed sites with high levels of wind and rain, partially shaded sites). Measurements and observations are taken onsite to monitor the condition of the guards and the health of the tree. Vigilis-Bio performance is on par with traditional plastic tree shelters, highlighting that they are a viable alternative for foresters.

Vigilis is in a unique position in the industry – it manufactures and supplies biodegradable and polypropylene tree shelters straight to market. Therefore, Vigils can offer competitive pricing, bespoke options, and short lead times on all of our products.

Save time, money and the planet, one tree shelter at a time with Vigilis.

Get in touch with the team for further information: or visit


Forestry Journal:

GREEN-TECH has added the new Rainbow Terra Tree Shelter to its extensive tree planting portfolio.

Green-tech is a leading UK supplier of all tree and shrub shelters and works closely with manufacturers to offer biodegradable options to meet the demand for viable environmental choices which stand up to rigorous testing.

The Rainbow Terra is being heralded as the first and only tree shelter that biodegrades in any type of environment: soil, freshwater, or ocean. It is externally tested and proven that the Rainbow Terra will biodegrade and leave no waste or harm to these environments. The Rainbow Terra is certified Soil biodegradable by the renowned independent TUV organisation – truly making it the clean-conscience option.

The revolutionary new Rainbow Terra shelter has been developed to provide a 100 per cent biodegradable tree shelter to the landscape and forestry industries. It is manufactured from 100 per cent wood and plant-based materials grown within the UK. The Rainbow Terra tree shelter biodegrades naturally in soil over five years, into healthy nutrients that will not harm the soil, freshwater systems, or oceans.


The Terra shelter is borne out of extensive research into the biodegradation release rates of plant materials and FSC/PEFC-certified pine and spruce grown sustainably in the UK. Combining UK-sourced wood with a plant-based resin created the base composition for the Rainbow Terra.

Available in heights of 60 cm up to 120 cm with a diameter between 75 and 100 mm, the Rainbow Terra comes with multiple pre-fitted cable-tie options and is a robust, single-wall construction to withstand the elements. With an average lifespan of five years, it has a shaped rim to minimise stem abrasion and a natural look and feel to complement the surrounding environment, which also enables excellent light transmission.

Green-tech is taking enquiries and orders now for its full range.

For more information visit


Forestry Journal:

MORE professionals are renewing their interest in hand tools. Rather than getting the job done as quickly as possible, many are becoming more creative knowing hand tools provide a quality finish and a more craft-oriented approach to work. Those in the industry have a strong connection with nature, literally shaping the world we see in our gardens, orchards and open spaces. Many hand tools will allow you to deliver while enjoying the process along the way.

With an ambition to champion the supply of bladed products, CEuk has been sourcing cutting-edge tools for outdoor professionals since 2009. So, what makes up the range? Trojan handsaws, Stallion telescopic polesaws, Leyat secateurs and loppers, Bison axes, Sawpod and AUS fibreglass pruning rods kits all feature in the hands of hardworking professionals. Stallion telescopic polesaws have become a flagship pruning saw for the industry, winning various awards. Built for secure, high-reach tree pruning, Stallion polesaws can be easily extended to various heights in the canopy while safely operating from the ground. Stallion polesaws feature robust 400 mm high-carbon tool steel blades designed to bite hard and cut smoothly to leave a clean branch finish.

Available in four pole lengths (reaching up to 3.1 m, 4.1 m, 4.1 m and 6.3 m) complete with curved Stallion blade and scabbard. Designed to cut only on the pull stroke, the weighted curved blade profile helps with cutting control and reduces the amount of effort exerted by the user to produce the desired cut. Proving popular with professionals, the ultra-compact Stallion 4.1 m telescopic polesaw is appealing to those looking for a quality polesaw that not only reaches high but is extremely transportable.

Developed from industry feedback with secure, easily adjustable telescopic points, the Stallion 4.1 m polesaw revolutionises transportation with the ability to condense to 1.3 m, making it convenient to fit in a small vehicle boot space. 

Stallion blades are also designed to fit AUS fibreglass pruning rods as well as other pole manufacturers. CEuk focuses on being the best at what it does and not necessarily the biggest, developing performing products that offer genuine value for money with a service that goes the extra mile. Every product supplied has a professional guarantee and a back[1]up to readily available spare parts giving you product longevity.

Check out the range at