Biodegradable tree shelters a new option for FLS

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Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is introducing biodegradable tree shelters following a commitment to reduce its plastic waste.

The step comes after FLS’ procurement team held discussions with shelter supplier Cheviot Trees on ways of becoming more sustainable, particularly on finding environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use, plastic tree shelters.

Gareth Waters, FLS’ interim head of operational support, said: ‘Our Climate Change Plan commits us to becoming more sustainable and phasing out single-use plastics is high on our to do list.

‘This new biodegradable product is good for the environment and for wildlife and will free up time for our foresters who will no longer need to gather up used tree shelters.

‘We’re now encouraging all of our teams across the country to make the environmentally friendly, sustainable choice.

‘It’s one of the first big steps on our journey and we’re looking forward to adopting other innovative solutions as we head towards net zero.’

Tree shelters are vitally important to protect young seedlings and trees from damage from deer and other animals. Every year, FLS uses approximately 200,000 of them and collecting them for suitable disposal is time that could be better spent on other forest management activity.

The new product, Tubex Nature, is manufactured from biodegradable polymers derived from biomass.

Jonathan Cameron, Cheviot Trees’ sales and marketing manager, said: ‘We have been working closely with our manufacturing partners over the past few years to develop a biodegradable solution that provides reliable protection to young trees.

‘We’re pleased to provide this next generation of tree shelters to Forestry and Land Scotland.’

The new product is of particular use in locations where collecting shelters would be difficult or sometimes impossible, such as dense woodland.

Photograph: The new product is manufactured from biodegradable polymers derived from biomass. NO_F02_BiodegradableTreeShelters_Tubex