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Shelters Enhance Tree Survival

If you want to increase survival and growth of tree and shrub seedlings, try using tree shelters. After several growing seasons, a higher percentage of trees will survive with the use of tree shelters than without.

A mini greenhouse for trees

Tree shelters create a translucent, "mini-greenhouse" environment so trees grow faster. In the spring, shelters help the seedlings to start growing earlier, and in autumn, extend their growing season.

"There are many advantages to tree shelters," said Dr. James Earl Kennamer, NWTF Senior Vice President of Conservation Programs. "For example, they provide protection from deer and other wildlife that browse young seedlings. If the seedlings are very small, shelters make them easy to locate for applying fertilizer and they protect the seedling when applying herbicides."

Select the right shelter for your needs

Tree shelters come in various sizes from 24 to 72 inches (six feet) in height. Before purchasing a tree shelter, make sure you consider all the factors, such as choosing the correct size to get the maximum benefit for the seedling, how fast you want the seedling to grow and what kinds of animals pose the greatest threat to the seedling. Tree shelters should extend at least 18 inches above the top of the seedling you are planting. Hardwood trees and shrubs do well in 48-inch shelters. If deer are a problem near the planting site, use a 60- or 72-inch shelter to provide extra protection from browsing.

How to order

Tree shelters are available through the National Wild Turkey Federation's Project HELP (Habitat Enhancement Land Program). To place an order or receive a free catalog, call 1-800-THE-NWTF or click here. Get in the Game, the NWTF's guide to attracting wildlife to your land, is now available on CD for $9.99 and is full of tips and tools to help you get the most out of managing your land.


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