Article: Totally Tubular Habitats - Treeshelters are enabling some extraordinary success in habitat creation and restoration
16 April 2013
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Extract from the Article
Arbor Day has long been a high-profile way to stress the importance of healthy trees for a healthy environment. But protecting trees in a habitat-sustaining manner, such as those utilized in mitigation bank-funded projects, is not simple. Planting and caring for a single tree in your backyard is a lot different than planting and sustaining trees along three acres of creek winding through an old farm.
For example, game will eat seedlings, which undermines the development of game-supporting habitat. Abandoned farm fields may be prime ground for restoring to habitat, but farm fields are also prime ground for mice and field moles, both of which can be hightly destructive to creating a more diverse habitat.
As such, when forestation is part of habitat creation - regardless of whether it is connected to a mitigation bank - a strong emphasis needs to be placed on making sure those trees and affiliated plants can take root and grow free of disease or failure -causing interference. How you protect those plants in the early stages of development will largely determine the success of your site.
Treeshelters are critical. These products are poisitioned around a young tree or allow a tree to grow, in its earliest phase, up through the shelter. Constructions vary. Home gardeners might use srap, like chicken wire or snow fence or black tubing cut from garden supplies. But on larger sites with greater plant life to protect, such as on a 2 - or - 5 acre habitat-creating plot for a mitigation investment or corporate campus, you will want something a little more engineered.
Fiberweb's Tubex (www.tubex.com) product line is intruguing here. The solid tube units allow for strong protection of seedlings and young trees, high air moisture, more secure water management even in drought phases, etc.