This summer has been wetter than normal this year, and the gardens are loving it. The plants are lush with growth and look like an amazing jungle, but unfortunately, underneath all that beauty lies trouble.

Rot, mold and insects will thrive too, causing damage to your plants. Thinning out the foliage may help dry them out and allow you to observe any problems that might occur. Good drainage is always a benefit, too.

Another issue I observed in my neighbour’s garden was a plastic tree guard on a young tree. Upon removing it, I saw there were signs of bark disease and insects starting to affect the bark.

The owner was surprised, as he thought tree wraps were beneficial for stopping sun, weed whacker, deer and rodent damage. However, with all those benefits come grave disadvantages if you are not careful.

Rubbing, insects and mice between the guards can cause damage too. Guards that are too tight and not removed can girdle, choke and kill trees. Moisture trapped in the guard can also kill the tree.

The biggest issue with any guards is user error. People need to be more aware that your trees need attention, and if left unattended, they will suffer.

I usually take my guards off in the spring and replace them in late fall. Take care of your trees, and they will provide you with many years of beauty and shade.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Dunnville Horticultural Society has suspended member meetings. If you have questions or comments, please contact club president Deb Zynomirski at or check out our website at

Note that 2021 club memberships are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 for a single, $15 per couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario, N1A 2X5.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *