Another thing we do is wrap trees in hardware cloth or fine chicken wire once their too high to browse. Just staple it on. Works really well and is easier and cheaper than constructing tubes from remesh.
Rebecca Norman wrote:I don't know if this would be useful in other places, but it is a very popular technique in Ladakh, where there are lots of voracious goats and not much forage, so trees need to be protected very VERY well. In Ladakh, when people have to plant trees out in the unprotected outdoors, not inside an enclosure, they collect old tin cans, cut both ends off, and run those around the trunks. Since we're mostly planting willows and poplars, which can be planted as simple cuttings, it is very easy because there are no branches so you can just plop them over the top after you've planted the cuttings. We plant cuttings at least four feet high so you can leave the top uncovered but it will be out of reach of browsing animals.
Interesting - that's the only idea I've ever heard of that'll cost you less $6/tree. What stops goats from bending the tree down and knocking the cans off (or from breaking the tree) though? Is there something like a t-post?
Before tin cans were so numerous, and also sometimes now, people collect seabuckthorn branches and strap them around the new saplings with scrap rope and wire. Also a free solution! But you have to use quite a bulky bundle of thorn branches to be safe.
To make sure animals can't nudge the cans up, you can sew them with scrap wire. Before putting them on the saplings, pop a couple holes in each one with a nail, and then string or twist-tie one to the next. Another solution is to stuff a couple of sticks in there along with the cutting, so if animals nudge their way in they only reach a dead stick, and those will break down in time.
This is what lots of rich hunters use for deer protection. They also simulate partial shade so the trees grow UP faster. They are not cheap.
Re-mesh is a good buy in the long run if you can re-use it for multiple plantings.