Appletons Tree Nursery Ltd, 1748 Main Road South, Wakefield, Nelson, Phone 03 541 8309, Fax 03 541 8007
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Tree Protection

There are a number of advantages in planting trees in grazed pasture. Livestock production from the land continues, with shade and shelter enhancing animal well being. Trees in the landscape add greatly to the attractiveness and value of a property.

If individual trees can be adequately protected from stock, then landscape considerations and choosing the best sites for the trees can be given preference. When planted in grazed pasture, fire risk and brushweed competition is eliminated compared to a non-grazed fenced-off area.

Farm mesh and deer poles


We examine some of the options for protection in terms of cost, simplicity and degree of protection. 




We continue to use these for the majority of our tree planting in our arboretum. They are cost effective, easily carried around the hillsides and suitable for all trees except large-leaf species and branched conifers. The shelters tend to encourage very rapid initial growth, which may need to be headed back. 300mm of Novaflow is essential to stop sheep rubbing the shelter around the stake. Allowing the shelter to move on its ties in the wind encourages the tree to strengthen its stem rather than rely on the shelter for support.



Available in a range of sizes and heights, rolls of mesh can be cut to length. A diameter of 1m is suitable for a lightly branched upright tree. Horizontal branched evergreens such as Abies and Picea will need a larger diameter. This mesh is generally aesthetically pleasing and extremely durable, and this type of protection can be reused many times. The high initial cost of between $15 and $25 needs to be weighed against the long-term usable life. Two or three stakes driven into the ground are necessary to hold the mesh firmly against rubbing and boisterous stock.



This type of protection relies on access to reliable electric fencing. Either sheep or deer netting is attached with insulators to strong stakes and connected to mains electric fence supply. The main risk is that should the power be turned off, the animals will browse and ring bark the trees.


Electricfied sheep netting


We have used this product for two seasons and trials have shown it to be one of the most successful tree shelters. Available in rolls 900mm or 1200mm high and 50m long. We can cut the roll into 1m to 1.2m lengths.

The high tensile wire at the closer spacing of 75 x 75mm is almost as rigid as the farm mesh, and the closer spacing stops animals poking their heads through and browsing.

Provided the wire is not resting on the ground, it should be able to be reused a number of times. Including the cost of the stakes, this shelter costs about $10 per tree (2007). Legacy Wire Industries Ltd, 0800 95 94 95.


Comparison between farm
mesh and power knot
security fence

Sheep have browsed the
redwood branch ends.

1.2m tall power knot with
two stakes.

17 months after planting this
redwood has reached 2.5m
due to good weed control
and fertilser.

Ultimate shelter for large