RETURNING to the show calendar for the first time since before the pandemic, Interforst was back with a bang. Forestry Journal joined thousands of guests at Messe München last month, as 31,000 visitors and more than 300 exhibitors ensured there was plenty to see. In this series of articles, we provide a small taste of what was on offer. 

NOT content with letting Sirane have all the fun (see here), tree shelter manufacturer Tubex was also on hand at Interforst to offer a biodegradable alternative that still gets the job done. 

The firm's Nature Shelters, made from a combination of materials, are said to provide five years of protection to the youngest trees. This, Tubex says, makes them ideal for difficult to access woodlands where collection and recycling is not practical. 

Martin Sattler, of Tubex, said: "Many visitors are interested in the products as we are presenting them. We are presenting single tree protection, that's protection for seedlings, saplings at the forest side because we have problems with a lot of deer.

"We need to protect trees like this and that's the first point. The second point is that our shelters are producing a micro-climate, which allows the tree to grow much faster. We can grow out of that vegetation, which is growing around and could be a problem for the tree as well.

"We help the trees to survive and we increase the survival rate of the trees that have been planted in the forest." 

Like its competitors, Tubex's push to introduce biodegradable alternatives has come from increased awareness of the effect plastic has on the planet. 

"That's a question coming out from the market now, that wasn't some years ago," Martin added. "We are beginning to work with materials made from starch; it will be stable in the forest side for around five years and then will degrade during the next five. 

"The new shelter could be interesting for every user. If you are using these materials, it's not necessary to collect them after five or six years. 

"That's a problem we are facing. Normally tubes are not collected completely. We are offering a solution with this biodegradeable tubes. 

READ MORE: Tubex sets flat rate for recycling of plastic tree shelters

"Another solution we are offering is a collection service for customers. They can collect the tubes, they store them in a big bag, and we come and collect.

"We are trying to close the loop. We then wash and reuse the material to produce new tree shelters."