This patent is for a multifunctional plant guard which can be used to protect a range of plants and trees from animals and insects. Existing plant guards are typically made of heavy plastic sheet, netting or meshing and held into position with stakes. Current types of guard are not usually biodegradable which means that as the plant matures and grows the guard may compress and even stunt its natural growth, leaving it more susceptible to developing diseases. Currently no plant guard protects plants from subterranean pests and many are manufactured from non-biodegradable materials which can potentially leak toxins into the environment.
Scientists at Swansea University have designed a range of multifunctional and biodegradable plant guards which overcome many of the limitations posed by existing models. These inventions will provide a physical barrier between plants and pests in the form of a tubular structure that can be positioned around the stems of plants or tree trunks. The tree guards are modified to house internal channels or tubes which are arranged to contain gel-based (for slow release) chemical compositions. Chemical compositions that can be released include materials like mycorrhizae, fertilizers, and plant protection agents. Chemicals that repel pests and form a chemical barrier may also be released. Chemical repellents typically used are: deer repellents, rodent repellents or insect repellents. The tree guard has feet that can be inserted into the ground and house dispensers that release materials into the ground will provide protection against subterranean pests and diseases.
The multifunctional tree guard is an ergonomic invention which is appropriate for all kinds of habitats, including forest which is often inaccessible and requires low maintenance costs.
A Patent for this invention has been filed by Swansea University under GB1018368.7