You may have seen tree trunks covered in sheet metal as you drove or walked down the street. These metal cuffs are reflective and can be found everywhere, from Charlotte to Los Angeles to Miami or Northern Maine.
What’s the answer? The tree accessories are not flashy, but they can protect the tree against unwanted pests like rats, squirrels and raccoons.
Why do people wrap metal around their trees?
Arborists recommend wrapping your shade-provider in metal as an affordable and simple way to protect your home and trees.
The slick sheet metal surface makes it difficult for small animals to climb the tree, much like how you grease the pole of your bird feeder to repel squirrels. This stops pests from building nests there or reaching higher branches to gain access to your roof or attic.
Tree baffles: Cones and bands
These tree wraps are also known as baffles. Baffles that are available online are usually made for small-diameter trees or bird feeder poles. Metal cones may also be available online. They serve the same purpose, and are often the same name.
The idea is similar to tree wrappings which protect trees against the elements and critters. These wraps protect the tree’s bark and trunk from insects, sunscald, and herbicides. These wraps are best for young trees with thin bark. However, they can also be used in order to protect nesting pests. These wraps do not contain metal and are made primarily of polypropylene fabric.
This tactic is also used by fruit tree owners as a preventive measure. Squirrels and other hungry creatures can be attracted to fruit trees. Although there is plenty of fruit, it may not be all they are enjoying. They may become too comfortable and chew on the bark. This can make the tree more susceptible to diseases. The baffle serves two purposes: it protects vulnerable bark and deters climbing.
Sometimes, the greatest fear is that trees will be attacked by climbers. Rats and other nesting animals can build homes in your attic, trees, and walls. This can bring about viral diseases that can be harmful to humans and agricultural crops. You can make your home more welcoming to reduce unwanted visitors and residents. This will give you some peace of mind.
Does Wrapping Metal Around Trees Work?
Experts and homeowners agree that it is worth the effort. Although squirrels can outsmart you over time, it may be enough to deter them for long enough for your nut- or fruit-bearing tree’s harvest.
Neil Sperry was contacted by a homeowner to help them protect their pecan trees. Sperry stated that a pecan tree can be protected if it is not in contact with other trees or power lines.
You can make your own tree from aluminum or sheet metal for larger trees. These trees are held together by wire, nails, or screws. You can also paint them to match your surroundings. Paint could make the surface slippery and less effective.
Wrap the metal around the trunk leaving a few inches of overlap. Place it so that the top of your barrier is at least 5 feet above the ground. To block animals from getting in their way, the sheet should be at most 18 inches wide.
Sperry advises that you keep it loose to ensure it doesn’t become a burden on the tree. It is even better to attach it so you can place it early in the summer and then remove it late in the fall. […] Items like reflective strips and fake owls. While they may be effective for a while, squirrels eventually catch on.
Some arborists believe squirrels can be too difficult to control. Baffles won’t work if there aren’t other routes for squirrels to follow, such as nearby trees or structures or low-hanging limbs.