How to Protect Young Tree Trunks from Lawn Care Damage

An easy way to protect young trees (1"-3" diameter) from string trimmer damage or lawn mower strikes is to construct a protective sleeve out of ribbed, black drainage pipe and a few plastic ties.

Steps

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    The ribbed, black drainage pipe can be purchased at most hardware stores in 10' lengths.
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    Cut the pipe into lengths of 8"-10" using a box-cutter or saw in the groves of the pipe. (Be very careful if the box-cutter is used!)
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    After cutting to length split the tube into two equal parts by cutting across the ribs from top-to-bottom on opposite sides. (Again, if a box-cutter is used, use extreme caution because the plastic is of differing thicknesses and the blade will react to those differences!)
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    Use a hole punch of sufficient diameter 1/8" - 3/16" to accommodate the medium size (8" black) plastic ties to punch four holes, two in each newly cut edge into the groves of the pipe at least 1/2'-3/4' from the edge, at least two/three groves from the top and bottom. (See the picture.)
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    Thread two plastic ties through the holes in one side and loosely connect.
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    Thread two plastic ties through the holes in the remaining sides... do not connect until protector is placed around tree.
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    To install simply place pipe around trunk of tree after releasing open side of pipe from plastic ties.
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    Cinch up both pairs of plastic ties, but not tightly, just until edges meet or are close.

Tips

  • Maintaining a loose, but secure fit will allow the pipe to move somewhat if either a string trimmer or lawn mower (tire axle) strike occurs.
  • The installed pipe can be pushed down into the soil if there is a concern about the string trimmer reaching under the pipe at the soil level.
  • Note that these protectors must be installed before any yard care is performed to be effective, and are primarily needed when a commercial lawn care company is used.

Warnings

  • A sharp box-cutter blade will easily cut the ribbed plastic but great care should be used to avoid slippage of the blade and the potential harm therein.
  • A saw works well, but leaves somewhat of a mess to clean up.

Article Info

Categories: Lawn Care