The bubblewrap idea doesn’t sound like a good one, and I cannot help but think it’s related to the situation, not a coincidence. Wrapping trees in that way is a serious on-no to my mind (except with stiff mesh "hardware cloth" to prevent chewing by rodents and others. Moist, protected spots such as under the wraps you describe are terribly attractive to various undesirables, and can invite pests, disease and mechanical injury. The Vermont Extension is just one of many sources that says that wrapping of trunks is not a good practice: "Damage reported from using protective materials include cracked or split bark, fungal and bacterial diseases due to excess moisture held behind wraps, borer infestations under plastic guards, cambial damage during the summer due to high temperature injury, and most frequently, damage due to trunk girdling or constriction." It comes from this article: http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/envirohort/factsheets2/tree/aug94pr5.html I cage my trees in this manner (you can order by mail or make your own): http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/tools.html#Precut
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.