They sell plastic sleeves, or tubes that protect young tree trunks from mice or rabbits chewing them. Does anybody have some alternatives maybe using recycled material? I can't think of something that breathes but would protect from chewing. 2-liter soda bottle material would not allow breathing, wire mesh like chicken wire wouldn't keep mice out, old clothing could be chewed through. Any ideas?
Aluminum window screen works for us. We use a stapler to close the edges together when the piece is in place, wrapped around the trunk. Easy to rip open if you need to get it off. It helps if you start with a tall enough piece so that you don't have to worry about snow depth if that's a concern in your area. BTW, we also use cheap white latex paint on the trunks of young fruittrees to protect from sun scald. This combination works as well as the plastic tubes for us.
I like the window screen idea. I'll have to do that this winter so the spring bunnies don't get ambitious with my 8 new fruit trees planted last year. I happen to have a bunch of old screens laying around...who doesn't?! :O)