How to make your own tree guards

Updated February 21, 2017

Tree guards can help to protect your newly planted trees from the wind, insects, disease and bark-eating animals. Tree guards also protect trees from damage from weed trimmers and the lawnmower. Most garden stores sell commercially made tree guards. Instead of spending your money to purchase these tree guards, you can make your own guards at home for free using recycled items. Making your own tree guards takes only about 30 minutes for several trees.

Cut the tops and the bottoms off the soda bottles using a utility knife. Slide the bottles over the tree and overlap them to form a tube that's 1 to 2 feet tall.

Cut a slit along the length of the bottles if they won't fit over the tree trunk's diameter. Spread the bottles open and place them around the tree, overlapping them as in Step 1.

Place a wooden stake on the outside of the tube you just made with the bottles. Make two small holes on the tops and bottoms of the bottles and secure them to the stake by running string through the holes and tying them to the stake.

Attach two or three additional wooden stakes, spaced evenly around the circumference of the trunk, if the tree trunk is larger. Insert the wooden stakes into the ground around the tree if desired.


Ensure that the soda bottles form a tube that's about 1 or 2 inches wider than the widest part of the tree trunk. Inspect your tree guards often and replace them if they become damaged or when the tree begins to outgrow the tree guards. Remove the guards before the tree grows large enough to make contact with the tree guards.


Wear gloves and use caution when cutting the bottles with the utility knife.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty plastic 2-liter soda bottles
  • Utility knife
  • 2-foot-long wooden stakes
  • String
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