A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have contacted NexGen Tree Shelters over the last 18 months. I’ve been developing our environmentally friendly tree shelters for four years now, so it’s with much pleasure that I can update you with our first newsletter.
The production lines are about to roll!
Our two new lines are near completion, and we’re on track to be in production for this season’s planting.
Following trials over the last 18 months, we’ve strengthened the structural design of the tree shelters and added a smooth inner surface to minimise damage from wind abrasion. We’ve also extended the range to include tree shelters, shrub shelters, spiral guards and vole guards. And, in line with our no plastics policy, we’re using an improved, releasable metal tie.
Welcome to Tim Oliver
Many of you already know Tim, who joined NexGen in May as our technical sales manager. Tim has been connected to the forestry industry all his working life, including time with Tubex and SureGreen, so he has an unrivalled wealth of expertise. I’m delighted to have him on board.
Our network of distributors
I’m pleased to confirm that our first distributor is British Hardwood Tree Nursery Ltd. We’re thrilled to have Andrew Henderson and his team as part of our UK distribution network – they’re already processing requests for delivery for the new season this autumn.
“We are very pleased to be a NexGen distributor. Gary’s innovation delivers a step change in the way biodegradable shelters are made. Made from British wool, their quality, robustness and, most importantly, biodegradable credentials are extremely impressive. The team at NexGen have thought about every element of the tree guards life cycle – from material sourcing, to production, to the positive impact on plant health and the environment. A great addition to our ‘bio’ portfolio here at British Hardwood Tree Nursery.”
Andrew Henderson, Managing Director, British Hardwood Tree Nursery Ltd
Over the coming weeks we’ll announce more distributors. While we’re only working with a limited number of carefully selected partners, we do want to reduce our carbon footprint by drawing stock from points that are close to market.
Trees thrive in NexGen shelters
In 2020, we planted thousands of trees in NexGen shelters on trial sites across the country. Sycamore, Cherry, Hornbeam and Oak are now out of the shelters and growing vigorously. Even the more challenging species, such as Beech and Small Leaf Lime, are performing well thanks to the shelters’ optimal light transmission and ventilation holes. John Parker of Wessex Woodland Management said,
“I planted 30-40cm cell-grown Oak in NexGen’s 1.2m tree shelter last year, and after 11 months the tree looks strong and healthy, and has reached 1.1m in height.”
John Parker of Wessex Woodland Management Ltd
Trip to Cardolite, India
Tim and I recently travelled to India to visit our polyol supplier, Cardolite. The polyol in our shelters is derived from mechanically processed cashew nut shells and we were keen to look closely at Cardolite’s production facility, health and safety record, environmental impact and the general wellbeing of their workforce, including their CNSL (cashew nutshell liquid) suppliers.
From what we saw, it’s evident that Cardolite’s senior management value the welfare of both their employees and suppliers. For example, every member of staff and their extended family has private healthcare, a doctor is on-site three days a week, and funds are available for employees who have unforeseen financial difficulties. Both Tim and I were very impressed with the whole set-up.
CNSL’s surprising versatility
CNSL is a by-product of the food industry and today is used extensively as a sustainable alternative to synthetic and fossil fuel products. For example, CNSL is used in the manufacture of at least a dozen parts in the average car, including the tyres and brake pads.
The big surprise to us was that diesel contains up to 7% palm oil, which is now being replaced by the more environmentally friendly CNSL. Currently, only around 20% of the shells from the food industry are used, so there is plenty of room for growth for this sustainable raw material.
APF 2022 September 22nd – 24th
The whole NexGen team will be at this year’s APF exhibition. Please do come and visit our stand – C5a – we’d love to meet everyone who shares our passion for replacing the use of plastic in forestry. We’ll have shelters for you to handle, and you can even have a go at securing and releasing our new metal ties.
With kind regards,
MD, NexGen Tree Shelters