Amongst other things, one of the jobs the Park and Garden team have started this week is the replacement of old and broken tree guards in the Front Park at Charlecote. Two have been completed this week, both around walnut trees.
Tree guards are used in Charlecote Park to protect new and young trees from being chewed and eaten, or having the bark rubbed off, by our herd of fallow deer. Hence they have to be quite strong to resist the pushing and shoving of the biggest master bucks in the herd which can weigh in excess of 70kg!
The old guards, which are many years old, had suffered significant wear and tear and therefore had to be replaced before the deer finally broke through them and munched on the trees! Given the tree guards around the two walnut trees were in the worse condition, it became a priority to complete them first.
The new tree guards are all built to a standard design for tree guards in the Park using wooden round fencing poles, half round fence rails and stock fence wire. In the formal gardens and orchards the standard tree guard is an ornate metal guard, which can be seen in an earlier blog entry.
Firstly the four corner posts are buried approximately 60cm into the ground, equidistant from the centre of the tree and lean outwards at a slight angle from the vertical. Then, using the half round rails, strengthening rails are screwed to each of the fence posts around the middle and at the top. Finally, the stock fence wire is stapled, under tension, to each of the posts. The first run fills in the gap between the ground and the lower rail and the second run the gap between the lower and upper rails.
The finished guard is remarkable strong and will keep the deer at bay for many years to come.
John, Park volunteer