A comparison of tree shelters installed on green ash and cherrybark oak seedlings in ArkansasThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Tree shelters can aid hardwood seedling establishment by improving early seedling survival and growth. This study was established in Arkansas to compare three types of tree shelters installed on green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.) and cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda Raf.) seedlings. Seedlings planted in 4 feet tall Blue-X®, Protex® or Tubex® tree shelters were compared to unsheltered controls with respect to survival, browse damage, emergence, groundline diameter, and height. Tubex® shelters cost about twice as much to purchase and establish as the Blue-X® shelters, with the Protex® cost in between. Tree shelters did not affect survival. Diameter growth varied by site and shelter treatment. Height growth and emergence rates were greater for sheltered seedlings than unsheltered seedlings, but shelter type made little difference. Overall growth differed between sites, but sheltered cherrybark oaks grew slightly taller than sheltered green ash seedlings at both sites. Less costly shelters may provide the same growth benefits as more expensive shelters.