Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Protecting young trees

Trees are one of Mother Nature’s gifts to animal life on our planet. EU funding enabled scientists to develop a novel, completely biodegradable young tree ‘shelter’ to facilitate reforestation in a completely sustainable way.
Protecting young trees
Providing us with valuable shade and moisture, they supply homes for innumerable organisms. Their existence helps prevent mudslides in the case of flooding. Trees even absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere that has led in a large part to global warming and climate change.

Human activity threatens the forests of our planets much as it creates carbon dioxide, resulting in a lose-lose situation. One way to improve the outlook is reforestation. Young trees must be protected as they are more vulnerable than older ones to insects and animals. In addition, young trees rapidly absorb more CO2 than older ones, making their survival even more important.

European scientists developed the BIO-Shelter project to create a novel completely biodegradable young tree-protecting system.

Investigators developed a tree protector using natural hemp and flax combined with a completely biodegradable polymer whose degradation time could be preset. Degradation would also not produce any harmful by-products that remain in the soil and nearby water systems.

The result is a low-cost, maintenance-free tree-protector system offering a biodegradable alternative to existing systems.

Product certification should get the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in the project on their way to creating an export market worth millions while simultaneously creating jobs and protecting the planet.

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