Best Tree Wraps

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
26 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
88 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best tree wraps

Winter can be brutal on trees, particularly younger trees or species with thin bark. Sunscald, the cycle of warming by day, freezing by night that can affect trees in any climate, can damage and even kill a tree. Creatures from insects and mice to rabbits and deer will eat bark when other food is scarce, a process that can girdle a tree and damage or kill it. Tree wraps can help protect trees against these and other hazards.

As the name implies, this product is wrapped around the trunk of the tree, offering protection from rodents, the elements, and even the errant string trimmer or another gardening tool.

When shopping for tree wrap, you will find a variety of factors to consider to find the one that best fits your needs. This buying guide examines these factors, from materials and size to water resistance and color. We cover what you can expect in tree wraps at various price points, and we offer up a few recommendations for quality products.

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Some tree wraps are left on year-round, usually when the wrap is protecting damaged bark.

Key considerations

Size

Your first consideration when purchasing tree wrap is fairly straightforward: what size do you need? Are you wrapping a single tree or protecting a new orchard? Tree wraps are typically 3 to 4 inches wide and range anywhere from 20 to 300 feet. If this is your first time wrapping trees, there may be a bit of guesswork involved in determining the size of roll you need. When in doubt, buy more. It’s better to end up with a bit of extra wrap than fall short. You can always use it next year!

Quantity

You should also note the number of rolls included in your order. Some tree wraps come in individual rolls, while others come in multiples. Check the price as well. You want to be careful that you aren’t paying more for two 20-foot rolls than you would for one 100-foot roll. If you carefully calculate the math, buying multiple rolls can save you money, particularly if you have a large number of trees to wrap.

Qualities

Biodegradable: Some tree wraps grow with the tree’s bark and break down over time. This is better for the tree and better for the environment. However, because it breaks down, you will use up more wrap over time, which can cost you more in terms of both money and time.

Water-resistant: Some tree wraps, often paper-based wraps, have a waxy coating that helps to protect them from damage by rain and snow. A water-resistant coating can help extend the life of the product.

In addition to the trunk, also consider wrapping any smaller branches to protect them against sunscald.

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Features

Materials

Tree wraps are made from a fairly wide variety of materials. Some of the more common include the following:

Polypropylene fabric: Often used in upholstery and other manufactured goods, polypropylene fabric stretches and will biodegrade over time. One of the biggest complaints about this material is that it often comes in a stark white color, and some people don’t like the look of it in their yard.

Paper: Also known as crinkled paper tree wrap, this product usually incorporates several layers of paper bonded together with an adhesive. It should come as no surprise that paper tree wrap degrades fairly quickly.

Corrugated cardboard: Some users swear by corrugated cardboard tree wrap due to its ability to blend in with tree bark. However, unless the cardboard is treated to be water-resistant, this wrap breaks down quickly when it gets wet.

Burlap: While it’s cheap, burlap is less commonly used as tree wrap. It breathes well, but it can be difficult to work with because the edges don’t cut cleanly.

Vinyl/plastic: You can find tree wrap made of plastic or vinyl, but these materials are less common due to the fact that they are not biodegradable and won’t grow with the tree’s bark. These materials are more commonly used for tree guards to protect against deer, mice, and other pests.

Color

We touched on color above, and it’s an important feature to consider in a tree wrap. While some people may balk at wrapping their tree trunks in glaring white, lighter colors can be valuable tools against sunscald. By reflecting the light, white and light-colored wraps can keep a tree’s bark from warming to the point where it gets damaged.

While green and brown offer less reflective protection, many people prefer these colors because of their ability to blend in with a tree’s foliage or bark.

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Did You Know?
Sunscald occurs when warm days break bark out of its dormancy, leading to damage when the nights turn cold. It typically affects young trees with thin bark.
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Tree wrap prices

Tree wraps start at less than $10 and go up to $20 or more, usually determined by the length of the roll.

Inexpensive: At $10 or less, you will find shorter wraps, usually under 50 feet in length. These materials tend to degrade more quickly (such as paper). These wraps are best for those who plan to wrap just a few trees.

Mid-range: In the $10 to $20 range, you can find tree wraps that are between 50 and 100 feet long. You will find the overwhelming majority of tree wraps, regardless of material, in this range.

Expensive: Tree wraps that cost over $20 tend to be longer, often 150 feet or more, and of a higher quality than less expensive wraps. These are for people who have multiple trees to wrap.

Conifers, trees with white bark such as birch, and trees with no direct sun exposure do not need to be wrapped to protect them from sunscald.

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Tips

  • Secure the tree wrap. After wrapping your tree, it’s generally recommended that you secure the wrap with some form of tape, such as duct tape. Some suggest just tucking the end into the wrap, but this can leave it susceptible to unwinding in the wind. If you use tape, only use the tape on the wrap itself, not on the bark of the tree.
  • Water the tree to protect against freezing. If you’re worried about damage due to frost or freezing, you can heavily water a tree prior to any cold nights. While wrapping is the best solution here, watering the tree can help to hold in heat during a freeze.
  • Don’t leave tree wrap on year-round. Experts say that the continuous use of tree wrap can trap moisture and lead to mold growth.
  • Consider a tree guard. Are you only interested in protecting your trees from rodents, deer, and other pests? Something like a plastic or vinyl tree guard may be a more appropriate and effective solution than wrap.
  • Put the tree wrap on correctly. Some tree wraps are two-sided. When placing them on a vulnerable tree, be sure to position the lightest side facing out to reflect sunlight and keep the bark from overheating. Also, take special care not to wrap the tree too tightly. This can lead to ring bark or girdling, which can harm or even kill a tree.
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Another benefit of using tree wrap on trees close to roads and walkways is the wrap can protect the tree from damage caused by road salt.

FAQ

Q. Are tree wraps just for northern climates?

A. Not at all. Southern climates can reach pretty low temperatures also, and unlike their northern counterparts, trees in more temperate climates might not be equipped to deal with cold snaps. Wrapping at-risk trees, particularly citrus trees, is recommended.

Q. When is the right time to install tree wraps?

A. Tree wraps should be put on in late fall or early winter before the onset of frost and freezing temperatures. They should also be removed in early spring after the danger of freezing temperatures is over. While it may vary due to your area, a good rule of thumb is to wrap up at-risk trees at Thanksgiving and unwrap them at Easter.

Q. How do I wrap a tree with a tree wrap?

A. Tree trunks should be wrapped from an inch below the soil’s surface to the first branch of the tree. When wrapping, overlap each layer by one-third to one-half inch, and take care not to wrap the trunk too tightly. When the tree is fully wrapped, you should secure the tree wrap with a bit of duct tape.

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