Future-proofing our pest-proofing

Guarding our trees and shrubs at Rosemoor is an essential part of our maintenance regime

Tree protectionWhen we plant new specimens, particularly in the further reaches and woodland areas of Rosemoor, our ‘woodland creature’ friends become very excited! In order to curb their enthusiasm we undertake various guarding strategies to keep them at bay.

Over the years we have honed our methods, and we think we’ve now got it pretty much spot-on in terms of the materials we are using, their effectiveness and longevity.

As far as trees and shrubs go, in the garden proper, we use a polyurethane black plastic mesh, which lasts for several years, (before breaking down to any great extent via UV exposure), allowing enough time for plants to get established enough to be more bunny/Bambi tolerant.

We find a 600mm high product, spaced well back from the plants to limit deer nibbling, is a cost-effective and sufficient deterrent. It is sourced in 50m rolls at around £45 per roll and we only use the black version at it becomes lost to the eye in the natural environment.

In terms of the means to erect this mesh we have recently changed over to metal pins, as with the timber treatment for fencing stakes no longer containing copper arsenic, we are struggling to get a 1in-square stake to last for more than a year before rotting off in our clay rich soils.

We are making our own pins simply by buying 6m lengths of 10mm smooth round bar, cutting it into 110mm lengths and bending the top end over to avoid any ‘optical accidents’. These are then driven in and cable-tied to the mesh at 2m intervals.

For the individual tube tree guards that we use in our woodlands, we have found the best type is the open-mesh variety, which improves airflow around saplings.

Rabbits can be pests in the gardenRead more

Protecting against rabbit damage
Expert advice from the RHS

Rabbit-proof plants
Choose plants that can withstand rabbit attack!

Deer-resistant plants
Good plant choices if deer visit your garden


Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.